By Robb M. Stewart


OTTAWA--Canadian wholesale trade rebounded in April thanks to a recovery in motor vehicle sales.

Wholesale sales rose 2.4% in from the month before to a seasonally adjusted 83.35 billion Canadian dollars, the equivalent of US$61.46 billion, Statistics Canada said Friday. The jump, the largest since last May, was slightly softer than the data agency's advance estimate for a 2.8% increase, and comes after sales in March fell a revised 1.3%.

In price-adjusted terms, sales were up 2.0% in April, an indication of rise in the sales volumes for the month.

On a one-year basis, nominal wholesale sales increased 3.4%.

Wholesalers--the largest component of Canada's services sector--connect farmers or manufacturers that produce goods with companies and public institutions that use them. They also import goods from other countries and redistribute them within Canada.

Five of the seven wholesale sectors tracked by Statistics Canada posted higher sales in the latest month, though the value of inventories held by wholesalers fell 0.5% to C$126.35 billion after a small rise the month before.

The recovery in sales was driven by a more than 10% rise in motor vehicle, parts and accessories trade following a decline in March. Sales were also higher in the miscellaneous category.

The decline in inventories was led by the building materials and supplies sector, with lower inventories also reported in the motor vehicle, parts and accessories segment.

After stalling in the second half of last year, Canada's economy resumed growing in the first quarter of the year as inflation continued to ease steadily. The Bank of Canada earlier this month pivoted to cutting a policy interest rate that had been at a more than two-decade high, has forecast gross domestic product growth will average 1.5% this year thanks to strong population growth and pick up to about 2% in 2025 and 2026.

Including sales by petroleum, oilseed and grain merchants--the headline measure Statistics Canada is transitioning to--wholesale sales for April were 4.1% higher month-over-month at C$122.23 billion. Inventories on the same basis slipped 0.3% from the prior month to C$141.09 billion.


Write to Robb M. Stewart at robb.stewart@wsj.com


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

06-14-24 0908ET