RTTNews - Wholesale sales in current dollars fell 0.6% to $40.5 billion in March, according to data released Thursday morning by Statistics Canada. Declining sales in the building materials and machinery and electronic equipment sectors were important factors contributing to this decrease. In terms of the volume of sales, wholesale sales were down 1.3%.

Canadian wholesalers sell to both the domestic and international markets, and are active importers and exporters. The larger decline in the constant dollar sales compared with the current dollar sales in March reflects higher prices paid by wholesalers for imported goods. This was due in part to the depreciation of the Canadian dollar versus the US dollar in March.

In March, four out of seven sectors, accounting for two-thirds of total wholesale sales, posted declines.

The building materials sector decreased 3.1% in March, with over two-thirds of that decline coming from the metal products trade group, which fell 9.8%. Sales of the metal products trade group in March were 35.8% below the peak attained in July 2008, dropping to a level not seen since June 2004.

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