August 22, 2016 / 12:57 PM / 2 years ago

Vehicles help lift Canada's wholesale trade in June

Cars drive in traffic on the Gardiner Expressway in Toronto, June 29, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The value of Canadian wholesale trade rose in June for the third month in a row, lifted by higher sales of motor vehicles, data from Statistics Canada showed on Monday.

The 0.7 percent increase in wholesale trade topped economists’ expectations for a rise of 0.1 percent. May was also revised upward, to 1.9 percent.

In volume terms, sales rose 0.6 percent in June.

The motor vehicle and parts industry led the way up, rising 3.1 percent. Higher sales in the second quarter more than offset a decline in the first quarter.

The personal and household goods sector showed strength for the fifth month in a row with a 2.0 percent increase.

Of the seven sectors, higher sales were reported for four, which accounted for 68 percent of wholesale trade.

The Canadian economy probably contracted in the second quarter due to the disruption from the Alberta wildfires in May. The stronger-than-expected wholesale trade figures, however, suggested some underlying momentum in the economy heading into the third quarter, when growth is expected to rebound.

About 12 percent of wholesale companies surveyed by Statistics Canada said the wildfires had affected them, down from about 14 percent in May. The machinery, equipment and supplies sector had the largest share of affected companies, as was the case in May.

Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn

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