OTTAWA (Reuters) - The value of Canadian wholesale sales in September jumped unexpectedly by 1.8 percent from August to hit a record high C$54.03 billion ($47.81 billion), Statistics Canada data showed on Thursday.
Analysts had forecast an advance of just 0.8 percent after zero growth in August. The rise was the greatest since the 2.4 percent gain recorded in May 2014.
The report was the latest in a string of recent data suggesting Canada may finally be on the path to a healthy recovery. The Bank of Canada says it will not think about raising interest rates from near-record lows until the considerable amount of slack in the economy disappears.
Higher sales were recorded in six of the seven sub-sectors, accounting for 83 percent of total wholesale sales.
In volume terms, sales also grew by 1.8 percent.
The building material and supplies sub sector recorded the largest gain, rising 5.5 percent from August. Inventories increased for a ninth consecutive month, rising 0.5 percent to a record high C$67.14 billion.
Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Bernadette Baum