Canadian Wholesale Sales Exceed Economist Forecasts in October

Canadian wholesale sales rose the most in three months in October, exceeding the highest forecast of economists on increased machinery receipts.

Sales rose 1.4 percent to a record C$50.5 billion ($47.5 billion), Statistics Canada said today in Ottawa, compared with the median estimate of a 0.3 percent gain in a Bloomberg survey with 13 responses. The most optimistic estimate called for a 0.6 percent increase.

The agency revised down the gain in September to little changed from an initial reading of 0.2 percent.

The data add to signs that momentum in the world’s 11th largest economy may be building. Canada’s economy grew in the third quarter at the fastest pace in two years amid a gain in consumer spending and rebounds in business investment and inventories, Statistics Canada reported Nov. 29.

Five of seven major categories tracked by Statistics Canada rose in October, representing over 70 percent of sales.

Growth was led by a 5.6 percent increase in sales of machinery, equipment and supplies to C$11.2 billion, the largest monthly gain since September 2003, Statistics Canada said.

Gains in Alberta, Quebec and Ontario contributed most to the overall increase, the agency said. Sales in Alberta rose 3.3 percent, while receipts in Quebec and Ontario rose 1.9 percent and 0.6 percent.

In volume terms, wholesale sales climbed 1.2 percent, Statistics Canada said. Inventories decreased 0.2 percent to C$61.8 billion. The ratio of inventories to sales fell to 1.22, the lowest since June last year.

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