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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian wholesale trade rose by a disappointing 0.2 percent in September from August, and August's increase was downgraded to 0.4 percent from a previously reported 0.5 percent, according to Statistics Canada data on Wednesday.
The median forecast in a Reuters survey of analysts was for a 0.4 percent increase.
It was, however, the third straight monthly advance. The increase in volume terms - adjusted for inflation - was identical, at 0.2 percent.
September's gain was led by rises of 4.3 percent in the agricultural supplies industry, 0.6 percent in motor vehicles and parts, and 4.8 percent in farm supplies. Sales increased in four of seven sectors, accounting for 45 percent of wholesale trade.
Inventories declined by 0.2 percent, but the ratio of inventories to sales held at 1.24 percent, the agency said. That ratio is a measure of the time in months needed to exhaust inventories if sales stayed at their current level.
Reporting by Randall Palmer; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama