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Wholesale sales up 0.7 per cent in February despite rail blockades and COVID-19

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada reports wholesale sales rose 0.7 per cent to $67.5 billion in February, even as sales were hurt by rail blockades and the early effects of COVID-19. Economists had expected a decline of 0.
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OTTAWA — Statistics Canada reports wholesale sales rose 0.7 per cent to $67.5 billion in February, even as sales were hurt by rail blockades and the early effects of COVID-19.

Economists had expected a decline of 0.4 per cent, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

In the absence of the blockades and COVID-19, Statistics Canada says seasonally adjusted wholesale sales would have been closer to a 1.5 per cent gain.

Sales in the motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories subsector gained 4.2 per cent in February, to $11.9 billion.

Excluding this subsector, Canadian wholesale sales were down 0.1 per cent. 

Wholesale sales increased 0.6 per cent in volume terms.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 20, 2020.

The Canadian Press