Canada May Wholesale Sales Fall 1% on Autos and Farm Supplies

Canadian wholesale sales fell on a decline in motor vehicles in May, a month where economists predicted they would hold onto gains from the last two months.

Sales fell 1 percent to C$54.5 billion ($41.9 billion), Statistics Canada said Monday in Ottawa. The decline matched the lowest of 15 economist forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey with a median estimate for sales to be little changed.

Motor vehicle receipts dropped 4.2 percent to C$7.15 billion in May, following a 12.5 percent rise in April. Agricultural supply sales fell 6.3 percent to C$2.12 billion.

Sales in the province of Ontario fell 1.1 percent to C$27.2 billion on automobiles. In Alberta, hurting from a drop in crude oil prices, sales fell for a sixth month, by 2.2 percent to C$6.74 billion.

Nationwide wholesale inventories rose for a seventh consecutive month, by 0.1 percent to a record C$71.7 billion. The inventory-to-sales ratio, a measure of how many months it would take to deplete stocks at the current sales pace, increased to 1.32 from 1.3, Statistics Canada said.

The volume of wholesale sales, which removes the impact of price changes, fell 0.6 percent.

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