July 19, 2012 / 12:38 PM / in 5 years

Canada May wholesale sales jump on computers, autos

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian wholesale sales posted their second consecutive unexpected jump in May, rising 0.9 percent from April to C$49.77 billion ($49.28 billion) on higher sales of computers, autos and food, Statistics Canada data indicated on Thursday.

Analysts had predicted a 0.3 percent increase. Statscan revised April's month-on-month advance down to 1.2 percent from an initial 1.5 percent, still far more than the 0.2 percent rise market operators had been expecting that month.

Sales of computer and communications equipment leaped by 7.3 percent from April, the largest month-on-month growth since April 2008. Food sales were up by 1.5 percent while auto sales increased by 2.9 percent.

Four of the seven subsectors, accounting for about 70 percent of wholesale sales, reported increases in May. In volume terms, sales were up by 0.4 percent.

Inventories edged up by 0.1 percent while the ratio of inventory to sales dropped to 1.20 from 1.21. Wholesale sales in May were 6.2 percent higher than in May 2011.

($1=$1.01 Canadian)

Editing by James Dalgleish

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