Canada May wholesale trade posts highest jump in almost 17 years

FILE PHOTO: People are silhouetted in front of the Canadian national flag at the Palais des Congres in Montreal, Quebec, Canada October 21, 2019. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe/File Photo

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian wholesale trade rose by 5.7% in May from April, the biggest jump for almost 17 years, as restrictions imposed to fight the coronavirus outbreak were relaxed, Statistics Canada said on Friday.

Analysts in a Reuters survey had predicted an 8.5% jump from April. Statscan revised April’s record plunge to 21.4% from an initial 21.6% drop.

Sales were up in six out of seven subsectors, representing 78% of wholesale trade, while sales grew in seven of the ten provinces. Sales rose by 5.2% in volume terms.

Around 60% of the overall gain in May was due to sales of motor vehicles, parts and accessories, which soared by 33.4% gain but remained 62.6% lower than in May 2019.

The monthly overall increase in wholesale trade was the greatest since the 6.9% advance recorded in September 2003.

Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Nick Zieminski