UPDATE 1-Canada wholesale trade rebounds in January

Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:33am EDT

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* Wholesale trade rises 0.3 pct on computers, electronics

* Subsector has dominated wholesale data for three months

OTTAWA, March 19 (Reuters) - A surge in demand for computers and electronics drove up wholesale trade activity in January by 0.3 percent from December, Statistics Canada said on Tuesday.

Analysts surveyed by Reuters had forecast, on average, a 0.4 percent increase in wholesale trade in the month following a 1.1 percent drop in December.

An 8 percent jump in sales of computer and communications equipment and supplies led to a 3.2 percent rise overall in the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector.

"For the third consecutive month, this industry was the main contributor to sales movement at the national level. This coincided with the release of new products at the end of 2012," Statscan said in its statement.

In volume terms, wholesale trade grew 0.5 percent.

Four of the seven subsectors, representing about two-thirds of wholesale trade, reported gains in the month. The second-largest increase was in personal and household goods, which rose 1.0 percent.

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