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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian wholesale trade jumped by 1.9 percent in April from March, far more than the 0.3 percent forecast, erasing some of the declines early in the year, according to Statistics Canada data released on Wednesday.
The agency also revised up March's increase to 1.0 percent from 0.8 percent. The level of sales, which are seasonally adjusted, had declined by a total of 4.1 percent in January and February in what Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz had characterized as an atrocious quarter.
The motor vehicle industry led April's gains, adding 9.3 percent and standing 16.3 percent over a year earlier. Excluding this industry, wholesale sales were up 0.4 percent from March.
Machinery, equipment and supplies, a proxy for the business investment being sought by the central bank, were up 1.5 percent.
Inventories rose 0.5 percent to a record level but the ratio of inventories to sales declined to 1.30 from 1.32 in March, due to the higher increase in sales.
In volume terms, sales rose 2.0 percent.
Reporting by Randall Palmer; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama