By Kim Mackrael
Canadian wholesale transactions beat market expectations to reach near pre-pandemic levels in June, led by stronger month-over-month sales in the automotive sector.
Wholesale sales advanced 18.5% on a seasonally adjusted basis in June from the previous month to 62.06 billion Canadian dollars ($47.12 billion), Statistics Canada said Wednesday. Market expectations were for a 9.1% advance, according to economists at CIBC Capital Markets.
In volume, or price-adjusted terms, sales rose 18.8% in June.
The June advance offers evidence of a stronger-than-expected recovery following the pandemic-induced plunge in economic activity that took place earlier this year. Statistics Canada said more than 80% of the decline in monthly sales since the pandemic began has now been recouped, with June sales coming in just 3.9% below February levels.
On a 12-month basis, wholesale trade in Canada declined 2.4% in June.
Wholesale trade is the largest component of Canada's services sector. Wholesalers connect farmers or manufacturers that produce goods with companies and public institutions that use them. They also import goods from other countries and redistribute them within Canada.
Statistics Canada said sales of motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts and accessories continue to be the slowest to recover. Although June sales in the sector were up 114.8% in June, they remained 23.7% below the levels recorded in February.
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