Alberta wholesale sales on the rise to record level

Wholesale sales in Alberta were on the rise in November to a record level, according to Statistics Canada.

The federal agency reported Wednesday that sales in the province of $7.2 billion for the month were up by 0.8 per cent from the previous month and by eight per cent on an annual basis.

Nationally, wholesale sales declined by 0.3 per cent to $54 billion, following two consecutive monthly gains, it said.

“Decreases were recorded in three of seven subsectors, led by the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector, and were partially offset by higher sales in the motor vehicle and parts sub sector,” explained the federal agency.

Sales were up, however, by 6.7 per cent year-over-year.

“Following three consecutive monthly gains, the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector recorded the largest decrease in dollar terms, with sales declining 2.8 per cent to $11.3 billion in November. The construction, forestry, mining and industrial machinery, equipment and supplies industry (3.5 per cent) and the farm, lawn and garden machinery and equipment industry (8.6 per cent) were the largest contributors to the decrease. For both of these industries, the decline in November did not offset the gains recorded in the previous three months,” said the federal agency.

Nick Ford, economist with ATB Financial, said the value of goods sold to retailers was expected to soften after months of strong sales growth, especially since business inventories have been mounting.

“However, a strong retail sector in our province is likely the reason why we continue to see robust wholesale numbers. Tracking wholesale trade allows you to measure the amount of merchandise retailers themselves have been purchasing,” he said.

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