Wholesale trade in Canada jumps to $62 billion in rebound near pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels

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      Wholesale trade in Canada rose to $62.1 billion in June 2020.

      The growth serves as an indicator of economic recovery from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

      “The increase in June returned wholesale sales to near pre-pandemic levels,” Statistics Canada announced Wednesday (August 19).

      Wholesale merchandising grew by $9.7 billion compared to May this year “as large parts of the economy reopened”.

      “June's sales were largely consistent with other economic indicators, suggesting that the economy has started a widespread rebound,” Statistics Canada stated.

      The agency cited manufacturing sales as one of these economic indicators, which increased 20.7 percent in June compared to May.

      In addition, employment rose by nearly a million in June.

      Moreover, exports rose 17.1 percent.

      Wholesale trade constitutes an important part of the economy.

      These businesses act as intermediaries linking different sectors, like manufacturers and retailers.

      Wholesalers also connect factories to sources of inputs for their industrial activity.

      Wholesale traders likewise import goods from other countries, and export goods produced in Canada.

      The federal government measures wholesale trade in Canada through a monthly survey.

      Excluded from the monthly survey are three sectors: oilseed and grains, petroleum and petroleum products, and business-to-business electronic markets, and agents and brokers.

      “Sales in June were $2.5 billion below February's pre-COVID-19 levels, an improvement from May when sales were $12.2 billion below February,” Statistics Canada reported on August 19.

      The federal agency recalled that the wholesale sector recorded its highest-ever sales level in February 2020.

      This was “before the pandemic generated a $15.1 billion drop in monthly output over the course of two months”.

      “Since then, more than 80% of the drop in monthly sales caused by COVID-19 has been recouped, and June sales were 3.9% below February's record high,” Statistics Canada noted.

      The agency noted that motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories led the growth in dollar terms.

      Statistics Canada also reported that “sales in the miscellaneous subsector reached a record high, and, the food, beverage and tobacco, and the farm product subsectors in June were both higher than they were in February”.

      All provinces “recorded higher wholesale trade sales in the month of June, led by Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia”.