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A Chrysler auto worker uses an ergo-arm to load the seats into Chrysler minivans. The auto sector was among those reporting declines in wholesale sales in April. (REBECCA COOK/Reuters)
A Chrysler auto worker uses an ergo-arm to load the seats into Chrysler minivans. The auto sector was among those reporting declines in wholesale sales in April. (REBECCA COOK/Reuters)

Wholesale sales slip in April Add to ...

Wholesale sales edged down 0.1 per cent in April to $46.8-billion.

Statistics Canada says wholesale sales have remained relatively flat so far this year after an upward trend.

The agency says wholesale sales declined 0.3 per cent by volume in April.

StatsCan reports gains in three of seven subsectors were offset by declines in the other four, particularly in miscellaneous and building material and supplies.

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The miscellaneous subsector accounted for the largest decline in April, with sales falling 3.6 per cent as all of its component industries declined.

The building material and supplies subsector posted its second straight decrease, dropping 1.3 per cent.

The other declines in April were in the motor vehicle and parts and the farm product subsectors.

The largest gain was in the personal and household goods subsector (up 1.8 per cent), followed by the food, beverage and tobacco products subsector (1.2).

Sales were down in five provinces.

In dollar terms, Alberta (down 3.8 per cent) and Saskatchewan (down 10.6) reported the largest sales declines in April.

Ontario, which accounts for about half of Canada's total wholesale sales, increased 0.9 per cent.

Inventories rose 1.8 per cent to $56.1-billion in April, their fourth consecutive increase.

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