UPDATE 1-Canada 1.5 pct wholesale rise in July beats forecast

Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:44am EDT
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* Analyst forecast was for 1.0 pct increase

* June fell 3.1 pct

* July shaping up for solid economic growth

* Employment Insurance data close to pre-recession level

OTTAWA, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Canadian wholesale trade rose by 1.5 percent in July, in the latest of a series of indicators showing a stronger-than-expected performance for the month, according to Statistics Canada data released on Thursday.

It partly recovered a 3.1 percent decline in June and left wholesale sales 0.6 percent up on a year earlier. The median forecast in a Reuters survey of economists was that wholesale trade would rise by 1.0 percent in July.

The federal agency had earlier reported a 20.7 percent jump in building permits in July and a 1.7 percent rise in manufacturing sales. All the figures are seasonally adjusted.

In volume terms, used to calculate real growth in gross domestic product, wholesale trade rose by 1.4 percent. The largest increases in dollar terms were in machinery, equipment and supplies, and in building material and supplies.

In a separate release, Statscan said the number of regular Employment Insurance beneficiaries had fallen by 2.1 percent in July from June. "This decline brings the number of beneficiaries to a level similar to that observed before the start of the labor-market downturn in 2008," it said.