B.C. wholesale sales outpace rest of Canada

Wholesale sales in B.C. far outpaced the Canadian average, according to Statistics Canada data released Friday.

Wholesale sales in B.C. far outpaced the Canadian average, according to Statistics Canada data released Friday.

Sales by wholesale merchants rose 5.2% in B.C. in February compared with the same month in 2012, the nation’s number cruncher reported. That compares with a meagre 0.8% rise in wholesale sales in the country as a whole during the same two periods.

Drops in computers and toiletries curbed gains at automobile dealers.

Motor vehicle and parts sales rose 3% to $8.23 billion.

But computer and communications equipment sales dropped 8.2% to $3.10 billion and toiletries fell 8% to $633 million, according to the report.

The big drag on the country’s overall figure came from Canada’s most populous province, Ontario, where wholesale sales fell 3.4%.

The Bank of Canada on April 17 cut its 2013 growth forecast to 1.5% from 2%, citing weakness in business and government spending.

gkorstrom@biv.com

@GlenKorstrom