UPDATE 1-Canada Dec wholesale trade jumps on widespread strength

Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:39am EST
 
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(Adds details from report)

OTTAWA Feb 18 (Reuters) - The value of Canadian wholesale sales jumped by more than expected in December on widespread gains across the sectors, led by the motor vehicle and parts segment, data released by Statistics Canada showed on Wednesday.

Wholesale trade rose 2.5 percent to C$55.4 billion ($44.7 billion) from C$54.1 billion, surpassing economists' expectations for a 0.3 percent gain. Trade had fallen by 0.3 percent in November.

Higher sales were seen in six out of seven subsectors, accounting for 80 percent of wholesale sales. In volume terms, sales rose 2.4 percent.

The motor vehicle and parts subsector racked up the largest gain in dollar terms, rising 5.5 percent to a record C$10.1 billion. This was largely due to a 9 percent increase in the motor vehicle industry, its third monthly increase in a row.

Inventories rose for the twelfth consecutive month, rising 1 percent to C$69.1 billion. The gains in inventories were also broad, with six out of seven subsectors rising.

Wholesale sales saw widespread growth for the year overall, up 6.4 percent compared to the previous year, the strongest annual gain since 2011.

($1 = $1.24 Canadian) (Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)