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Canada wholesale trade picks up in December

Staff Writer |
The pace of Canadian wholesale trade accelerated in December in its third consecutive monthly gain, data from Statistics Canada showed.

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The 0.7 percent increase was in line with economists' expectations, though November was revised slightly downward to 0.1 percent from the initially reported 0.2 percent.

Volumes in December were up 0.9 percent, which could support overall economic growth during the month, although fourth-quarter growth is likely to slow after a sharp rebound in the third quarter following the impact of May's wildfires in northern Alberta.

Wholesale trade rose in six out of seven sectors, accounting for 82 percent of activity.

The machinery, equipment and supplies sector led the way with a 2.5 percent increase, while the building material and supplies sector rose 1.4 percent.

Motor vehicle and parts declined 2.1 percent on weaker vehicle sales, the only sector where activity fell.

But the pull-back capped a strong performance for wholesale motor vehicle and parts in 2016, which rose 8.8 percent for the year.

Wholesale trade as a whole was up 3.1 percent in 2016, the seventh annual increase in a row.

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