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Statistics Canada says wholesale sales rose 0.9 per cent in September


OTTAWA — Wholesale sales in Canada rose 0.9 per cent to $66.2 billion in September, boosted by gains in sectors that provide consumer goods such as food, pharmaceuticals and pharmacy supplies Statistics Canada said Tuesday.

In volume terms, however, Statistics Canada said wholesale sales fell 0.2 per cent — an indication that price increases helped push up their values compared with August.

The overall increase came as sales in the food, beverage and tobacco subsector rose 3.6 per cent to $12.4 billion as food industry sales rose 4.2 per cent.

Statistics Canada said it was the highest growth for both the subsector and the industry since they each grew 7.7 per cent in March at the start of the pandemic when people were stockpiling in anticipation of lockdowns and food shortages.

The personal and household goods subsector saw sales rise 3.4 per cent to $10.0 billion with a 7.2 per cent gain in the pharmaceutical and pharmacy supplies industry, Statistics Canada reported.

Sales in the motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories subsector increased 1.1 per cent to $11.0 billion, however sales were 6.0 per cent below pre-COVID-19 levels.

Nikita Perevalov, director of economic forecasting at Scotiabank, said Canadian wholesale sales, having surpassed the pre-pandemic level of February, have been seen growth slow to a more normal pace.

"Looking at the details of the release, rising prices accounted for all of the growth in sales in September, as volumes declined," Perevalov wrote in a report.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 17, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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