OTTAWA, May 14 (Xinhua) -- Canada's wholesale sales totaled a record 209.5 billion Canadian dollars in the first quarter of 2021, Statistics Canada said Friday.
They were up 3.9 percent over the fourth quarter of 2020 and an 8.9 percent increase over the first quarter of 2020.
They were also the highest sales in a single quarter on record, as the three highest monthly sales levels for the sector all came in the first quarter of 2021.
If sales for the rest of 2021 remain at the same level as in the first quarter, annual sales would be 11.1 percent higher than those in 2020, said Statistics Canada.
Statistics Canada attributed over 90 percent of the increase in the first quarter to two subsectors: building material and supplies; and machinery, equipment and supplies.
The wholesale sales of building material and supplies jumped 13.8 percent in the first quarter due to hugely increased demand for new homes in both Canada and the United States while wholesale sales of wood products by Canadian manufacturers surged 21.5 percent.
The wholesale sales of machinery, equipment and supplies increased 7.4 percent due to higher sales of computer and communications equipment and supplies.
The country's wholesale sales grew 2.8 percent in March 2021 and the sales volumes rose 1.9 percent to 61.9 billion Canadian dollars.
March was the eighth consecutive month where wholesale sales volumes were higher than the 59.7 billion Canadian dollars recorded before the COVID-19 pandemic, in February 2020.
The wholesale sales volumes were 3.7 percent higher in March 2021 than in February 2020.