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Canadian wholesale sales edge up in January

Canadian wholesale sales inched up 0.1% to C$63.3 billion in January, rebounding from a 0.5% decline in December 2017 and reflecting gains in four of the seven subsectors, Statistics Canada said.

Sales in the food, beverage and tobacco subsector posted the largest gain since May 2016, at 3.1% to C$12.3 billion for the month, after declining 1.8% in the previous month.

The machinery, equipment and supplies subsector sales edged up 1.6% to C$13.1 billion, mainly driven by strong sales in the other machinery, equipment and supplies industry.

The personal and household goods subsector bounced back from a two-month decline, posting a 0.8% gain to C$8.7 billion.

Sales in the building material and supplies subsector fell 4.0% to C$8.9 billion as the metal service centers industry and the motor vehicle and parts subsector posted 15.3% and 1.6% declines, respectively.

Wholesale inventories rose 1.1% to C$83.5 billion in January, reflecting increases in five of seven subsectors, which represent 73% of the total stocks.