Canadian wholesale trade grew 0.6 percent in May from April, slightly more than expected, while inventories fell for the first time in five months, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.

Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast, on average, a gain of 0.5 percent in wholesale trade in May. Statscan revised the sharp decline in April sales to 3.0 percent from 3.1 percent previously.

Higher sales in machinery and electronic equipment led the increase, followed by other products, including agricultural products, chemicals and paper products.

The gains were offset by weakness in the food, beverages and tobacco products sector, as well as for farm products.

Wholesale inventories shrank 0.8 percent after four months of growth as motor vehicle inventories fell to their lowest since November 2005.


*Statistics Canada report