* Sales fall 0.9 pct on computer equipment sector
* Analysts had expected a 0.4 pct decline
OTTAWA, Feb 19 Canadian wholesale trade shrank
in December by a sharper-than-expected 0.9 percent on a reversal
of the previous month's gains in the computer and communications
equipment industry, according to Statistics Canada data on
Market players surveyed by Reuters had forecast, on average,
a 0.4 percent drop in wholesale activity in the month.
In volume terms, wholesale trade was also down 0.9 percent
and inventories fell 0.6 percent.
Sales in the machinery, equipment and supplies sector
explained most of the weakness, sliding 4.1 percent. Every
industry in the subsector slumped but sales in the computer and
communications industry tumbled 8.6 percent following a 6.3
percent jump in November.
Personal and household goods saw the second-largest decline
in sales in December. Overall, five of the seven subsectors
reported a drop in sales.
In 2012 as a whole, wholesale trade grew 4.5 percent from
the previous year.