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Unexpected boost in wholesale trade

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Wholesale trade rose unexpectedly in October, by 0.9 percent, with investment in machinery and equipment leading the way, according to Statistics Canada data on Monday.

The median forecast in a Reuters survey of economists was for no change. September's increase was revised up to 0.5 percent from 0.3 percent.

Six out of seven sectors, representing 85 percent of wholesale trade, rose. Machinery and equipment, important for the country's productivity, rose 1.0 percent and showed the largest increase in dollar terms.

The food, beverage and tobacco sector gained 1.1 percent, the auto sector 1.2 percent and building materials 0.9 percent. The personal and household goods sector, however, declined by 0.4 percent.

All the figures are seasonally adjusted.

The climb in wholesale trade reflected an increase in volume of 0.5 percent, as well as higher prices. Fluctuations in the value of the Canadian dollar often affect wholesale prices.

Inventories rose by 0.2 percent while the ratio of inventory to sales fell to 1.17 from 1.18 in September. Inventories in the auto sector rose 3.2 percent.

CTV.ca CTV Two CTV News CTV News Channel BNN - Business News Network CP24