By Akhil Shah

OTTAWA (MNI) Canadian wholesale sales rose 0.2% to C$48.4 billion
in August after increasing by 0.9% in July, Statistics Canada reported

All sub-sectors with the exception of miscellaneous and building
material and supplies sector posted gains in August, representing
approximately 75% of total sales. The machinery, equipment and supplies
subsector posted the largest increase in dollar terms with sales rising
0.7% to C$10.5 billion, advancing for the sixth time this year. In
volume terms sales retreated 0.9% in August.

The increase in the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector
resulted from gains in the farm, lawn and garden machinery and equipment
industry. The food, beverages and tobacco products subsector rose 0.5%,
adding to its upward trend that began in late 2009. Approximately 90%
of this subsector accounts for the food products industry, which
advanced 0.3% in August.

Sales were reported higher in the motor vehicle and parts subsector
as well, increasing 0.4% in August. This was a result of a 1.7% increase
in the motor vehicle industry, the agency reported. However, the rise
was offset by a 4.0% decrease in sales of new motor vehicle parts and

The biggest downward contribution to sales came from the
miscellaneous subsector, sliding 1.7% as a result of a 13.7% decrease in
the agricultural supplies industry. The building material and supplies
subsector also registered a 0.7% decline in sales, which were dragged
lower by metal service centers (-1.9%) and the lumber, millwork,
hardware and other building supplies (-0.7%) industries.

Excluding motor vehicle and parts, sales increased 0.1% in August.
On an annual basis sales surged 7.7% in August.

A 5.1% decline in the miscellaneous sub sector held back the
increase in July as lower sales were reported in agricultural supplies

For the eighth consecutive month, wholesale inventories were pushed
higher with 19 of 25 industries recording gains. Inventories climbed
0.9% to C$57.2 billion, led by the motor vehicle industry (+5.7%).
Increases were also noted in other machinery, equipment and supplies
industry (+2.1%) and the pharmaceuticals and pharmacy supplies industry
(+1.1%) in August.

The inventory-to-sales ratio; a measure of the time in months
required to exhaust inventories if sales were to remain at their current
level, edged up to 1.18 in August from 1.17 in July.

–Akhil Shah is a reporter with Need To Know News In Ottawa

** Market News International Ottawa **