MRO Magazine

Wholesale sales slipped slightly in January

Ottawa, ON -- After rising for three consecutive months, wholesale sales slipped 0.2% in January 2005, reports Stat...


Industry

March 21, 2005
By MRO Magazine
MRO Magazine

Industries

Ottawa, ON — After rising for three consecutive months, wholesale sales slipped 0.2% in January 2005, reports Statistics Canada in its latest monthly report on Wholesale Trade. Excluding the automotive sector, sales climbed a hefty 1.1%, whereas that same sector propelled the increase in December.

Since September 2003, total wholesale sales have generally been rising. Previously, they went through a period of declines that started in March 2003. Prior to that, wholesale sales went through a strong period of growth that began in the fall of 2001.

Of the 15 trade groups that represent 52% of total sales, 10 posted increases in January. Wholesalers of computers and electronic products (+6.4%), lumber and millwork (+11.7%) and household and personal products (+4.7%) registered the largest gains in terms of value. The motor vehicles group (-7.1%) and the “other products” category (-4.2%) registered the steepest declines. However, these same two sectors had enjoyed robust growth in December.

In constant dollars, wholesale sales slipped 0.1% in January.

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The total value of wholesalers’ inventories continued to grow for a fifth consecutive month, rising 1.2% to $47.4 billion in January. This increase was mainly attributable to the motor vehicle parts and accessories group, as well as the household and personal products group. The value of the inventories of these groups accounts for approximately 15% of total wholesale inventories.

The inventory-to-sales ratio went from 1.21 in December to 1.23 in January. This ratio has been rising since September 2004, owing to the weak growth of wholesale sales and sizable increases in inventories. Previously the ratio went through a period of declines that began in October 2003.