UPDATE 1-Canada wholesale sales rise in March after two monthly declines

Wed May 20, 2015 8:34am EDT
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(Adds data, background)

OTTAWA May 20 (Reuters) - The value of Canadian wholesale trade in March rebounded after two consecutive declines, rising 0.8 percent from February to C$53.94 billion ($44.21 billion), Statistics Canada said on Wednesday.

Analysts had expected a 0.9 percent increase in March. In volume terms, wholesale sales increased by 1.0 percent.

Higher sales were recorded in five of seven subsectors, accounting for 66 percent of wholesale trade.

The building material and supplies subsector recorded the largest increase in dollar terms in March, rising by 2.8 percent after a 2.0 percent decline in February. The motor vehicle and parts subsector advanced by 0.7 percent.

Overall wholesale sales fell by 0.4 percent in February. Statscan revised January's decline from 2.9 percent to 3.8 percent, the largest drop since the 4.6 percent plunge seen in January 2009.

Inventories rose by 1.0 percent in March. Gains were noted in four of the seven subsectors, representing 62 percent of wholesale inventories.

($1=$1.22 Canadian) (Reporting by David Ljunggren Editing by W Simon)