January 23, 2017 / 1:35 PM / 6 months ago

Canada wholesale trade slows in November as vehicle sales fall

2 Min Read

A flock of Canada geese flies over cargo ships at anchor in English Bay, outside the Port of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada November 19, 2016.Chris Helgren

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The pace of Canadian wholesale trade cooled more than expected in November as declines in the motor vehicle and parts sector offset higher sales of agricultural supplies, data from Statistics Canada showed on Monday.

The 0.2 percent gain missed economists' forecasts for an increase of 0.5 percent, while volumes were down 0.1 percent. The soft figures came after strong October growth, which was revised up to 1.3 percent from the previously reported 1.1 percent.

Sales in November rose in four out of seven sectors. The "miscellaneous" category led the way up with a 7.2 percent increase, driven by sales in agricultural supplies. The sector also includes chemicals and paper products.

Sales of building material and supplies rose 3.8 percent as exports of forestry products increased.

But the motor vehicle sector was the biggest drag on wholesale trade, falling 5.8 percent in just its second decrease in eight months.

The report will figure into economists' calculations for fourth-quarter economic growth and is likely to reinforce expectations that growth slowed after a strong third quarter.

Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn

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