(Adds details of release, background)
OTTAWA, March 20 Canadian wholesale trade in
January unexpectedly soared by 3.3 percent, its biggest monthly
advance in more than seven years, on stronger sales of motor
vehicles and parts, Statistics Canada data indicated on Monday.
The increase, far bigger than the 0.5 percent gain forecast
by analysts, was the greatest since a 3.8 percent advance seen
in November 2009 and pushed sales to a record C$59.09 billion
In volume terms, wholesale trade grew by 3.4 percent, which
is likely to bolster overall economic growth in January.
Sales were up in four of the seven subsectors, representing
55 percent of total wholesale trade.
Sales in the motor vehicles and parts subsector leapt by
17.1 percent, the biggest month-on-month gain since August 2005,
breaking a two-month stretch of declines. Excluding this
subsector, January wholesale sales edged up by 0.3 percent.
The personal and household goods subsector increased by 3.0
percent as sales of home entertainment equipment and household
appliances shot up by 30.6 percent. The miscellaneous subsector
dropped by 1.0 percent on lower sales by the agricultural
(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Bernadette Baum)