Canadian wholesale trade increased by 0.1 per cent in April from March, as higher sales in the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector were largely offset by declines in the motor vehicle and parts subsector, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.
Three out of seven subsectors, representing 54 per cent of wholesale trade, posted gains and sales were up in seven of the 10 provinces. Sales were unchanged in volume terms.
Sales in the machinery, equipment and supplies industry rose 2.3 per cent, the third straight monthly increase, while the food, beverage and tobacco industry was up 1.9 per cent, mainly on the strength of food sales, Statscan said.
Offsetting most of the gains, sales in the motor vehicle and parts sector fell 4.0 per cent, the largest percentage decline since November 2016, Statscan said.
Inventories edged up 0.1 per cent, the first increase in three months, with four subsectors increasing stocks.
The inventory-to-sales ratio was unchanged at 1.31 in April.