Car Business Boosts Wholesale Trade

It was a big a boost for Canadian wholesale trade in more than seven years during January. Figures released Monday morning revealed the figure unexpectedly soared by 3.3%, on stronger sales of motor vehicles and parts.

The increase, far bigger than the 0.5% gain forecast by analysts, was the greatest since a 3.8% advance seen in November 2009 and pushed sales to a record $59.09 billion.

The agency added that, in volume terms, wholesale trade grew by 3.4%, which experts say is likely to bolster overall economic growth in January.

StatsCan says sales were up in four of the seven sub-sectors, representing 55% of total wholesale trade.

Sales in the motor vehicles and parts sub-sector leapt by 17.1%, the biggest month-on-month gain since August 2005, breaking a two-month stretch of declines. Excluding this sub-sector, January wholesale sales edged up by 0.3%.

The personal and household goods sub-sector increased by 3% as sales of home entertainment equipment and household appliances shot up by 30.6%. The miscellaneous sub-sector dropped by 1% on lower sales by the agricultural supplies industry.