September 21, 2015 / 12:51 PM / in 3 years

Canadian wholesale trade unchanged in July

Tara Giles operates a combine as she harvests wheat on a 160-acre field located south of High River, Alberta, September 28, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Sturk

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The value of Canadian wholesale trade was unchanged in July as gains in sectors including machinery and motor vehicles were offset by declines in the food industry, data from Statistics Canada showed on Monday.

The reading fell short of economists’ forecasts for a gain of 0.7 percent. June’s figures were unrevised at 1.3 percent. In volume terms, wholesale sales were down 0.4 percent in July.

The machinery, equipment and supplies sector rose by 1.0 percent, driven by higher sales in computer and communications equipment and supplies. But elsewhere in the sector, sales in construction, forestry, mining and industrial machinery, equipment and supplies industry dropped 3.0 percent.

The motor vehicle and parts sector rose 0.2 percent, making for the fourth increase in five months.

Overall, higher sales were seen in three sectors accounting for 52 percent of wholesale sales. Among the decliners, the food, beverage and tobacco sector fell 0.5 percent.

In Alberta, where Canada’s vast oil sands are located, sales fell 0.7 percent to C$6.66 billion ($5.04 billion) the lowest since December 2013. Declines were widespread, led by building material and supplies.

Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe

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