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Canadian January Wholesale Sales Increase 0.3% on Computers

March 19 (Bloomberg) -- Canadian wholesale sales rose in January led by computers, government figures showed.

Wholesale sales rose 0.3 percent to C$49 billion ($47.9 billion), Statistics Canada said today in Ottawa, in line with the median estimate for a 0.4 percent gain in a Bloomberg survey with 18 responses.

Wholesale sales have stalled after reaching a record C$50 billion in May. Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney softened his language about raising the central bank’s policy interest rate this month because of “material excess capacity” in the economy, as the inflation rate hovers at a three-year low.

Computer and communications equipment sales rose 8 percent to C$3.52 billion in January. The biggest gain since April 2008 was led by the introduction of new products at the end of last year, Statistics Canada said.

Four of seven major categories tracked by the agency rose in January, representing two-thirds of sales, Statistics Canada said. Motor vehicle and parts sales fell 2.8 percent to C$8.07 billion.

The volume of wholesale sales, which removes the impact of price changes, rose 0.5 percent.

Statistics Canada today also revised its estimate of December’s wholesale sales decline to 1.1 percent from 0.9 percent reported earlier.

Inventories increased 1.2 percent to C$61.5 billion in January.

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

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