Canadian wholesale trade jumped to a record C$741.1 billion in 2017 as all seven sub-sectors posted higher sales, Statistics Canada reported.
Compared to the previous year, wholesale sales were up 9.4% in 2017, the eighth consecutive annual increase and the highest growth rate since a 13.7% gain in 1997.
The machinery, equipment and supplies sub-sector was the biggest contributor, accounting for 19.7% of overall wholesale sales last year. The sub-sector recorded sales of C$146.0 billion, up 10.8% from 2016.
Wholesale sales in the motor vehicle and parts sub-sector grew 10.1% to C$140.2 billion and wholesale sales in the building material and supplies sub-sector climbed 11.8% to C$104.5 billion.
Wholesale sales increased in all provinces, led by Ontario and Quebec, where sales increased 9.3% to C$381.3 billion and 10.0% to C$133.4 billion, respectively.
In December 2017, wholesale sales slipped 0.5% to C$62.99 billion from a revised C$63.34 billion in the previous month, with personal and household goods leading the sales decline in five of seven sub-sectors.
Personal and household goods wholesale sales fell 3.3% month over month to C$8.48 billion in December 2017 from C$8.77 billion.
Six provinces recorded lower sales, led by Ontario, where sales decreased 0.8% to C$32.57 billion from C$32.83 billion in the previous month.
In volume terms, wholesale sales declined 0.9% in December 2017 from the prior month and rose 7.7% to C$652.7 billion in the full year.
Wholesale inventories went up 1.7% to C$82.83 billion in December 2017, with four sub-sectors posting increases. The inventory-to-sales ratio rose to 1.31 from 1.29 in November 2017.