Canadian wholesale dipped in February

Canadian wholesale sales declined 1.2 percent in February after three months of advances, Statistics Canada reported Wednesday from Ottawa.

Declines were seen in four of the seven wholesale sectors, accounting for two-thirds of total sales, the agency said.

The major contributors to the sales decline were in motor vehicles and parts, down 4.4 percent, and the machinery, equipment and supplies sector, which was down by 2.8 percent, StatsCan said.

The building material and supplies sector was the largest gainer, up 1.5 percent with increases in all three of its component industries, continuing an upward trend that began in mid-2009, the agency said.

Regionally, the provinces of Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia accounted for the bulk of the wholesale sales declines. Ontario accounts for about half of Canada’s total wholesale sales and saw a decrease of 1.7 percent in February.

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