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Canada Wholesale Sales Rebound From Biggest Drop in 20 Months

Dec. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Canadian wholesale sales rebounded in October from the biggest drop in almost two years, led by higher food and motor vehicle receipts, adding to evidence the economy may have accelerated in the fourth quarter.

Sales rose 0.9 percent in October to C$49.2 billion ($49.9 billion) after a revised 1.5 percent decline in September, Statistics Canada said today in Ottawa. The gain exceeded all 14 forecasts in a Bloomberg survey, which had a median estimate of a 0.5 percent increase.

The report adds to evidence the world’s 11th largest economy may be rebounding after a weak third quarter. Other reports published this month have shown greater-than-forecast increases in employment and building permits.

Six of seven major categories tracked by the agency rose in October, Statistics Canada said. Food wholesalers recorded a 1.2 percent gain in October, while wholesalers of motor vehicles increased sales by 1 percent. Personal and household goods sales were up 1.2 percent.

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

Receipts have stagnated after reaching a record C$50 billion in May. Wholesale sales were 2.2 percent higher in October than the same month a year earlier.

Wholesaler inventories rose 0.2 percent to C$61.5 billion in October. The inventory-to-sales ratio, a measure of how many months it would take to deplete stocks at the current sales pace, fell to 1.25 in October from 1.26 in September.

In a separate report, Statistics Canada said the number of people receiving employment insurance benefits in October rose 0.9 percent to 535,030.

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

To contact the editors responsible for this story: David Scanlan at dscanlan@bloomberg.net; Chris Wellisz at cwellisz@bloomberg.net

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