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Wholesale sales rose 0.3% to $56.5 billion in July, a fourth consecutive monthly gain. Increases were recorded in five of seven subsectors, led by the motor vehicle and parts subsector and the food, beverage and tobacco subsector.
In volume terms, wholesale sales were unchanged in July.
Sales rose in five of seven subsectors, representing 72% of total wholesale sales. The motor vehicle and parts subsector recorded the largest increase in dollar terms in July, up 2.0% to $11.1 billion. This was the subsector's fourth consecutive monthly gain. Sales in the motor vehicle industry (+3.0%) rose to a record high, and accounted for most of the advance in the subsector. Excluding this subsector, wholesale sales were down 0.1% in July.
Sales in the food, beverage and tobacco subsector rose 1.2% to $11.0 billion in July. While sales increased in all of the subsector's industries, the food industry (+1.3%) contributed the most to the gain.
In the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector, sales rose 0.6% to $11.2 billion in July, the highest level since January 2016. Three of the four industries in the subsector contributed to the increase, led by the construction, forestry, mining, and industrial machinery, equipment and supplies industry (+2.6%).
Following two consecutive declines, sales in the miscellaneous subsector rose 0.9% to $7.0 billion, led by the agricultural supplies industry (+3.9%).
Following five consecutive increases, the personal and household goods subsector was down 2.0% to $8.1 billion. Declines in the pharmaceuticals and pharmacy supplies industry (-3.5%) accounted for most of the sales decrease. Imports and exports of pharmaceutical and medicinal products were also lower in July.
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