OTTAWA — Weaker sales of automotive products, machinery and electronic equipment pushed wholesale sales substantially lower in August, ending a string of three straight monthly increases.
Wholesale sales fell two percent to about $43.2 billion in August, offsetting gains of 1.8 percent in July and 0.3 percent in June.
About half the August decline was due to weaker sales of automotive products (down 5.3 percent), more than offsetting last month's 3.5 percent gain.
The machinery and electronic equipment sector also had a slow month as sales fell 4.2 percent after three months of strong gains.
The other notable decline came in the building materials sector (down 2.2 percent), where lower lumber sales were a major contributing factor.
Wholesalers of food, beverage and tobacco products posted the only notable increase (1 percent in August), while sales of personal and household goods edged up slightly (0.3 percent).
Sales in constant prices, which take price fluctuations into account, fell by 1 percent in August.