Wholesale Trade Fades Less than Expected

Figures released Monday by Statistics Canada revealed that wholesale trade in this country declined less than expected in February after four consecutive months of increases, as weakness in the household goods and food sectors put a damper on things.

The agency's 0.2% decrease was not as steep as the 1% decline economists had forecast. January was revised down slightly to show a gain of 3% from the previously reported 3.3%

Stripping out the effect of prices, volumes were down 0.4%. Overall, sales fell in four out of seven sectors, accounting for 54% of wholesale trade.

The personal and household goods sector provided most of the weight with a 1.7% decline. Sales dropped in five out of six of the sector's industries, including home entertainment equipment and household appliances.

Declines in the food industry helped the food, beverage and tobacco sector fall by 1%