Wholesale sales down 09 in surprise decline

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says wholesale sales fell 0.9% in December to $49 billion, after rising 0.7% in November.The agency says the decrease was largely a result of lower sales in the computer and communications equipment and supplies industry, the same industry which drove November’s increase.In volume terms, wholesale sales were down 0.9% in December.Five of the seven subsectors were down for the month, with most of the decrease concentrated in the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector, where sales fell 4.1%.The second-largest decline was in the personal and household goods subsector, with sales down 0.7%.The Canadian dollar declined to a session low of C$1.0135 versus the U.S. dollar, or 98.67 U.S. cents, after Canadian wholesale trade fell more sharply than expected in December and data showed foreigners reduced their holdings of Canadian securities.Wholesale sales were down in six provinces in December, with the majority of the national decrease attributable to declines in Ontario, Quebec and Alberta.

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