Canada Wholesalers Post Second Monthly Gain on Auto Shipments

Canadian wholesalers posted a second straight month of gains in February, led by increased shipments of motor vehicles.

Sales rose 1.1 percent to a record C$50.7 billion ($46 billion), Statistics Canada said today in Ottawa. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg forecast a 0.7 percent gain, the median of 14 responses. The agency revised the January gain to 0.5 percent, from 0.8 percent initially.

The report adds to evidence economic growth may be recovering from a slowdown late last year when it was curtailed by severe weather. Statistics Canada reported April 15 that factory sales rose in February to the highest level since before the last recession, while unfilled and new orders posted their biggest advances since at least 1992. The economy added 42,900 new jobs in March, the agency said April 4.

The Bank of Canada said last week it continues to see a “gradual strengthening” of the world’s 11th largest economy, projecting growth of 2.3 percent this year from 2.0 percent in 2013. The country’s recovery hinges on an upturn in exports and investment, the central bank said.

Sales increased in all subsectors, with wholesale receipts of motor vehicles and auto parts rising 3.0 percent to C$8.38 billion, the agency said. Auto sales rose 4.7 percent, the largest gain since December 2011. Excluding motor vehicles, wholesale trade rose 0.8 percent.

The volume of wholesale sales, which removes the impact of price changes, gained 0.8 percent.

Inventories rose 0.4 percent to C$62.4 billion. The inventory-to-sales ratio, a measure of how many months it would take to deplete stocks at the current sales pace, fell to 1.23 in February from 1.24 in January

To contact the reporter on this story: Theophilos Argitis in Ottawa at targitis@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Badertscher at pbadertscher@bloomberg.net

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