UPDATE 1-Canada March wholesale trade drops 1.0 pct on weaker autos

Thu May 19, 2016 8:36am EDT
 
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OTTAWA May 19 (Reuters) - The value of Canadian wholesale trade dropped by 1.0 percent in March, pulled down in part by weaker sales in the motor vehicles and parts subsector, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.

Analysts in a Reuters poll had predicted a 0.5 percent drop in wholesale sales from February. Statistics Canada revised February's month-on-month decline to 2.3 percent from an initial 2.2 percent.

Lower sales were recorded in five of seven subsectors, accounting for 65 percent of total wholesale trade. In volume terms, sales fell by 0.4 percent.

The motor vehicles and parts subsector dropped by 2.5 percent to its lowest level in four months as vehicle sales fell while the miscellaneous subsector sank 3.2 percent on weakness in the agricultural supplies industry.

Overall, wholesale inventories edged down by 0.1 percent to their lowest in six months.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Bernadette Baum)