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Canadian Wholesale Sales Rise on Fastest Auto Gain in Two Years

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Oct. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Canadian wholesale sales rose for a second month in August on the fastest gain in motor vehicles in two years.

Sales rose 0.5 percent to C$49.8 billion ($48.4 billion), Statistics Canada said today in Ottawa, compared with the median estimate for a 0.3 percent gain in a Bloomberg survey with 11 responses.

Wholesale sales have been rising from a low of C$40.1 billion in March 2009 at about the time of Canada’s last recession. They remain close to the May 2013 record of C$50.3 billion, as steady employment growth bolsters domestic demand.

Five of seven major categories tracked by the agency rose in August, representing about two thirds of sales, Statistics Canada said.

Motor vehicle sales advanced 4.5 percent, the most in two years, leading a 3.2 percent increase in the autos and parts category to C$8.54 billion, the highest since June 2012.

Personal and household goods rose 1.8 percent to C$7.12 billion, and agricultural supplies dropped 12.9 percent to C$1.56 billion because of uncertainty about global fertilizer prices, Statistics Canada said.

Wholesale sales also rose 0.3 percent in volume terms, which removes the impact of price changes.

Statistics Canada revised the July sales gain to 1.7 percent, from a 1.5 percent increase previously.

Inventories decreased 0.5 percent to C$61.9 billion, with the ratio of inventories to sales declining to 1.24 from 1.26.

Wholesale sales were 1.3 percent higher in August than the same month a year earlier.

To contact the reporter responsible for this story: Greg Quinn in Ottawa at gquinn1@bloomberg.net.

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

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