OTTAWA, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- Canada's wholesale sales rose 0.3 percent in August 2021 to 70.3 billion Canadian dollars following two months of decline, according to Statistics Canada on Friday.
Statistics Canada attributed the modest rise to the result of noticeable movements among the seven subsectors.
The sales of food, beverage and tobacco, building materials and supplies, and miscellaneous products rose 2.9 percent. But sales in the other four subsectors fell 2.1 percent. Roughly one-half of wholesale sales fall into each of these two groupings.
Sales of food, beverage and tobacco products rose 3.8 percent in August to 13.1 billion Canadian dollars, eclipsing March 2020 sales for the first time.
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, monthly sales in this subsector initially dropped 10 percent, then rose quickly and stabilized at a level roughly five percent to six percent below pre-pandemic levels. This was largely the result of Canadians increasing food purchases at grocery stores and lowering them at restaurants. As pandemic restrictions eased and more restaurants reopened with greater capacity, food sales have risen in four of the past six months and surpassed pre-pandemic levels in August.
The building material and supplies subsector saw a 2.3 percent increase to 11.4 billion Canadian dollars in August, but for the first time in more than a year, it was not the sale of lumber products that drove sales in the subsector.
Motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories sales fell 4.2 percent in August to 10.3 billion Canadian dollars. The subsector has faced difficulties as a result of ongoing shortages of raw materials, particularly semiconductors, preventing it from recovering from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sales plunged 75 percent at the beginning of the pandemic, from 12 billion Canadian dollars to three billion Canadian dollars.
One Canadian dollar is about 0.80 U.S. dollar.