Canadian wholesale sales rose in June for a third consecutive month and beat market expectations, as this segment of the economy proved to be one of the few bright lights in an otherwise dreary second quarter.
June wholesale trade rose 0.7% from May to a seasonally adjusted 56.42 billion Canadian dollars ($43.89 billion), Statistics Canada said Monday. Traders anticipated a 0.1% gain, according to economists at Royal Bank of Canada. May’s data were revised slightly upward to an increase of 1.9% versus the earlier 1.8% estimate.
In volume terms, sales rose 0.6% month over month.
For the second quarter, Canadian wholesale trade advanced 0.6% on a non-annualized basis, the data agency said. Wholesalers emerged as among the most resilient performers in the Canadian economy for the April-to-June period, as the overall economy struggled with soft U.S. demand, low commodity prices and the fallout from wildfires in the energy-producing province of Alberta.
That being said, wholesale trade accounts for roughly 5% of Canada’s total economic output, so the solid report “doesn’t dramatically change the picture of an economy that’s struggling under the weight of disappointing trade and business investment cutbacks,” said Jimmy Jean, economist at Desjardins Capital Markets.