OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian wholesale trade unexpectedly fell 0.3 percent in June from May on faltering sales of machinery, equipment and supplies in another sign the economic recovery lost some momentum in the second quarter.
Statistics Canada said on Thursday four of the seven wholesale sectors registered a drop in sales, including building materials which reflects a cooling of the once-hot housing market. The agricultural supplies sector posted the biggest gains.
Market analysts had expected a 0.3 percent increase in wholesale activity in the month. Statscan revised its estimate for May to flat sales after initially reporting a 0.1 percent decline.
Wholesale inventories climbed 0.6 percent in June to their highest level since September 2009, led by motor vehicles, agricultural supplies and food.
Analysts expect second-quarter economic growth to be about half the 6 percent annualized rate seen in the first quarter after weak data on exports, manufacturing and employment.
Reporting by Louise Egan, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama