UPDATE 1-Canadian February wholesale trade posts second consecutive drop

Tue Apr 21, 2015 8:37am EDT
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(adds details of release, background)

OTTAWA, April 21 (Reuters) - The value of Canadian wholesale trade unexpectedly fell by 0.4 percent in February to C$53.62 billion ($43.95 billion), dropping to its lowest value in six months, Statistics Canada data indicated on Tuesday.

Analysts had expected no change after January's 2.9 percent plunge, which was the biggest month-on-month decline in six years. Statscan revised the drop from an initial 3.1 percent.

The building material and supplies subsector recorded the largest decrease in dollar terms in February, falling 2.7 percent to C$7.45 billion on widespread weakness. Sales in the motor vehicle and parts subsector dropped by 1.4 percent to C$8.81 billion, their lowest level in 10 months.

Sales fell in three of the seven subsectors, accounting for 51 percent of wholesale trade. In volume terms, sales were down 0.7 percent.

Inventories rose by 0.6 percent, rising for the 14th month in a row. Gains were noted in five of the seven subsectors, representing 68 percent of wholesale inventories.

($1=$1.22 Canadian) (Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)