April 24, 2017 / 12:40 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Canada wholesale trade dips less than expected in Feb

(Adds details from report)

OTTAWA, April 24 (Reuters) - Canadian wholesale trade declined less than expected in February after four consecutive months of increases, weighed by weakness in the household goods and food sectors, data from Statistics Canada showed on Monday.

The 0.2 percent decrease was not as steep as the 1.0 percent decline economists had forecast. January was revised down slightly to show a gain of 3.0 percent from the previously reported 3.3 percent.

Stripping out the effect of prices, volumes were down 0.4 percent. Overall, sales fell in four out of seven sectors, accounting for 54 percent of wholesale trade.

The personal and household goods sector led the way down with a 1.7 percent decline. Sales dropped in five out of six of the sector’s industries, including home entertainment equipment and household appliances.

Declines in the food industry helped the food, beverage and tobacco sector fall by 1.0 percent.

The building material and supplies sector helped offset overall weakness with a 0.6 percent increase, the fifth monthly gain in a row.

Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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