Wholesale sales rose 0.9% in March and surpassed the $60 billion mark for the first time. Gains were recorded in four of seven subsectors, accounting for 60% of total wholesale sales, and were led by the building material and supplies subsector.
In the first quarter of 2017, wholesale sales were up 3.6% from the fourth quarter of 2016. This was the highest quarterly change since the second quarter of 2008.
In volume terms, wholesale sales increased 0.6% from February to March.
The building material and supplies subsector recorded the largest increase in dollar terms, as sales rose 3.9% to a record high $8.4 billion on the strength of higher sales in the lumber, millwork, hardware and other building supplies industry (+5.7%) and the metal service centres industry (+8.2%). Exports of lumber and other sawmill and millwork products rose 6.0% in March.
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