OTTAWA (Reuters) - The value of Canadian wholesale trade unexpectedly jumped by 1.8 percent in May from April, pushed up by the motor vehicle and parts subsector, data from Statistics Canada showed on Thursday.
The gain - much higher than the 0.2 percent increase forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll - was the biggest month-on-month advance since the 1.9 percent recorded in April 2015. Volumes rose by 1.5 percent in May.
Gains were recorded in six of the seven subsectors, representing 88 percent of total wholesale sales, led by a 3.6 percent jump in motor vehicle and parts sales.
In the food, beverage and tobacco subsector sales rose 3.2 percent, while the personal and household goods subsector gained by 1.5 percent.
The only one of the 10 provinces to record a decline was Alberta, where a slump in oil prices has hurt the economy and a wildfire in May forced the evacuation of the oil sands hub of Fort McMurray. Sales in the province dropped by 1.6 percent in May.
Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson