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OTTAWA, Sept 21 (Reuters) - The value of Canadian wholesale trade rose in July for the fourth consecutive month, posting a 0.3 percent gain on strength in the motor vehicle and parts subsector, Statistics Canada said on Wednesday.
The increase was slightly more than the 0.2 percent month-on-month advance predicted by analysts in a Reuters poll. Sales climbed in five of the seven subsectors, representing 72 percent of total wholesale sales.
In the motor vehicle and parts subsector, sales as a whole rose by 2.0 percent, thanks largely to a 3.0 percent jump in sales of motor vehicles. Sales in the food, beverage and tobacco subsector edged up by 1.2 percent.
Sales increased in six of the 10 provinces. They fell in energy-producing Alberta, which was hit by a major wildfire in May, for the third time in four months, dropping by 2.5 percent. Statscan carried out additional research in May and June to judge the impact of the blaze but did not do so in July.
Sales in Ontario, the most populous province, rose 0.6 percent to hit a record high, while in Quebec they increased by 1.1 percent. The two provinces together account for around 61 percent of the Canadian population.
Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Paul Simao