UPDATE 1-Canada wholesale trade jumps more than expected in Dec

Thu Feb 18, 2016 8:35am EST
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OTTAWA Feb 18 (Reuters) - The value of Canadian wholesale trade rose more than expected for a second month in a row in December, led by gains in the motor vehicle and parts sector, data from Statistics Canada showed on Thursday.

The 2.0 percent gain topped economists' expectations for a small increase of 0.2 percent from November's upwardly revised 1.9 percent. Volumes increased by 1.8 percent in December.

Motor vehicles and parts saw the largest increase in dollar terms, surging 10.6 percent to C$11.26 billion ($8.24 billion).

Sales of vehicles were the highest on record, while there was also an increase in exports and imports of vehicles and parts.

Sales in the food, beverage and tobacco sector rose 1.3 percent, the second increase in three months.

Overall, higher sales were seen in four out of seven sectors, accounting for 66 percent of wholesale sales.

For the year as a whole, sales grew 4.0 percent, with every province except oil-sensitive Alberta posting higher sales. Still, most provinces saw slower growth last year compared to 2014.

($1 = C$1.3673)

(Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Bernadette Baum)