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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian wholesale trade grew by a less-than-expected 0.2 percent in August from July, pushed higher by the machinery, equipment and supplies sector, Statistics Canada data indicated on Thursday.
Analysts had expected an increase of 0.5 percent. Statscan revised July's month-on-month advance to 0.9 percent from an initial 0.8 percent.
After removing the effects of the Canadian dollar's depreciation against the U.S. dollar, which boosted prices for imported goods sold by wholesalers, sales in volume terms fell 0.9 percent. It was the largest fall since the 1.9 percent drop recorded in May 2010.
Machinery, equipment and supplies registered the biggest increase in dollar terms in August, climbing 0.7 percent for the sixth monthly sales increase since the start of the year.
The largest decline was a 1.1 percent drop in the miscellaneous subsector, reflecting lower sales of agricultural supplies. Overall inventories rose by 0.9 percent and the inventory-to-sales ratio edged up to 1.18 from 1.17 in July.
Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by James Dalgleish