Canadian Wholesalers Record 0.3% Decline in Sales in November

Canadian wholesalers recorded an unexpected decline in shipments in November, the first drop in 11 months, led by lower sales of machinery and equipment

Sales fell 0.3 percent to C$54 billion ($44.7 billion), Statistics Canada said today in Ottawa. Machinery and equipment wholesalers recorded a 2.8 percent drop during the month, the agency said.

The report, which put an end to two consecutive monthly gains for wholesalers, adds to a string of data that suggest Canada’s businesses are struggling to reap the benefits of a weakening dollar that policy makers have hoped would offset the impact of plunging oil prices. Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz will deliver his latest economic forecasts today at 10 a.m. in Ottawa, along with a decision on interest rates.

Wholesale sales have gained 6.7 percent over the last 12 months, Statistics Canada said. The volume of wholesale sales, which removes the impact of price changes, shrank by 0.3 percent. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News expected no change in sales during the month.

Inventories held by wholesalers rose 0.1 percent in November to C$68.2 billion, the 11th straight increase, and are up 12 percent over the past 12 months.

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