Statistics Canada says wholesale sales posted record plunge in April

Statistics Canada says wholesale sales posted record plunge in April

OTTAWA — Wholesale sales in Canada fell by a record 21.6 per cent to $49.8 billion in April, led by a plunge in the motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories subsector due to the pandemic.

Statistics Canada said Thursday that wholesale sales fell to their lowest level since July 2013 as all seven subsectors recorded lower sales for the first time since November 2008.

Economists on average had expected a drop of 12.6 per cent, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

“The more pronounced drop in these numbers, combined with the earlier released manufacturing and employment data for April, suggest that there’s some downside risk to Statistics Canada’s -11 per cent flash estimate of April GDP,” CIBC senior economist Royce Mendes wrote in a note.

Wholesale sales volumes dropped a record 21.5 per cent to their lowest level since September 2009.

April was the first full month to see physical distancing measures put in place by public health authorities across the country.

Statistics Canada said 79.5 per cent of wholesalers reported that COVID-19 had an impact on their business.

It added that 90.1 per cent of wholesalers in the personal and household goods subsector reported that their businesses were affected by the pandemic.

The motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories subsector fell by a whopping 64.7 per cent in April following a 21.7 per cent drop in March. Excluding the subsector, wholesale sales were down 14.2 per cent.

The personal and household goods subsector fell 21.5 per cent.

Regionally, Statistics Canada said nine provinces saw wholesale sales move lower, while Saskatchewan rose 1.6 per cent.

Sales in Ontario fell 30.2 per cent in April, while Quebec dropped 17.6 per cent.

Statistics Canada will report retail sales figures for April on Friday

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 18, 2020.

The Canadian Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Samson Cree Nation warns residents about COVID-19 case

A non-resident member who recently visited Maskwacis and Ma-Me-O beach has tested positive.

Break and enter at the Wetaskiwin Heritage Museum

Wetaskiwin RCMP is seeking help from the public to identify two suspects.

230 new COVID-19 cases reported over the weekend

City of Red Deer has nine active cases

Father and his 9-year-old son rescued off of Miquelon Lake this weekend

Wetaskiwin/Camrose RCMP and EPS Air 1 rescue father and son on Miquelon Lake.

QUIZ: Are you ready for a summer road trip?

How much do you really know about roads, motor vehicles and car culture? Take this quiz to find out.

Sylvan Lake RCMP overwhelmed by Saturday’s crowded waterfront

“The sheer number of people at the beach is an indication that enforcement is not the solution.”

Crowds in Sylvan Lake “commonplace” during summer months

The Town of Sylvan Lake looking for solutions from Province for large crowds not social distancing

Look out, Mars: Here we come with a fleet of spacecraft

Three countries sending unmanned spacecraft

Most Read