June 21, 2018 / 12:53 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Canada factory sales edge higher in April

(Adds details of release, background)

OTTAWA, June 21 (Reuters) - Canadian wholesale trade increased by 0.1 percent in April from March, as higher sales in the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector were largely offset by declines in the motor vehicle and parts subsector, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.

Three out of seven subsectors, representing 54 percent of wholesale trade, posted gains and sales were up in seven of the 10 provinces. Sales were unchanged in volume terms.

Sales in the machinery, equipment and supplies industry rose 2.3 percent, the third straight monthly increase, while the food, beverage and tobacco industry was up 1.9 percent, mainly on the strength of food sales, Statscan said.

Offsetting most of the gains, sales in the motor vehicle and parts sector fell 4.0 percent, the largest percentage decline since November 2016, Statscan said.

Inventories edged up 0.1 percent, the first increase in three months, with four subsectors increasing stocks.

The inventory-to-sales ratio was unchanged at 1.31 in April. (Reporting by Andrea Hopkins and Dale Smith; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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