Alberta led all provinces in April for growth in the wholesale sales sector.
Statistics Canada reported on Tuesday that wholesale sales in the province rose for the second consecutive month, up 5.9 per cent to $7.3 billion, the highest level since May 2018.
“Sales were up in four of seven subsectors, led by the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector (+13.4 per cent), a second consecutive monthly increase,” said the federal agency.
Sales were also up 8.1 per cent year-over-year.
Across Canada, StatsCan said wholesale sales increased 1.7 per cent to $65.3 billion in April, the fifth consecutive monthly increase. Higher sales were recorded in five of seven subsectors accounting for 86 per cent of total wholesale sales. The motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories subsector was the leading contributor to April’s gains, followed by the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector.
On an annual basis, sales in Canada rose by 4.8 per cent.
“Following a 1.9 per cent decline in March, wholesale sales in the motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories subsector increased 3.2 per cent to $11.8 billion in April – the highest level since November 2017. After trending downward in 2018, sales in the subsector have risen substantially so far this year, with sales in April being 10.9 per cent higher than in January. Most of the increase in April was attributable to the motor vehicle industry (+3.3 per cent), which accounted for 80 per cent of sales in the subsector. In volume terms, sales in the subsector increased 3.5 per cent,” it said.
The federal agency said wholesale inventories increased for the eighth consecutive month, up 0.4 per cent to $90.6 billion in April. Gains were recorded in five of seven subsectors, which together represented 78 per cent of total wholesale inventories.
The inventory-to-sales ratio decreased from 1.40 in March to 1.39 in April, the second consecutive decline. This ratio is a measure of the time in months required to exhaust inventories if sales were to remain at their current level, said StatsCan.