OTTAWA (Reuters) - The value of Canadian wholesale trade unexpectedly fell by 1.2 percent in September from August, dropping for the first time in six months after a series of strong gains, Statistics Canada data indicated on Monday.
Analysts in a Reuters poll had predicted a 0.4 percent month-on-month advance. Sales fell in five of the seven subsectors, representing 65 percent of total wholesale sales, and in volume terms sank by 1.5 percent.
Machinery, equipment and supplies recorded the largest sales decline in dollar terms, dropping by 4.0 percent. The miscellaneous subsector fell by 3.1 percent as sales of agricultural supplies shrank by 8.0 percent.
Motor vehicles and parts - the largest subsector in dollar terms - grew by 0.7 percent as sales of motor vehicles increased by 2.2 percent to reach a record high.
Wholesale trade fell in every one of the 10 provinces, with Ontario, Quebec and Alberta accounting for 82 percent of the overall decrease. After three record-setting months, Ontario posted a 0.7 percent decline.
Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Bill Trott