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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

Doug McCann Research and Statistics Officer
Tel: 902-424-2141Email:

January 22, 2018

In Nova Scotia November 2017, the seasonally adjusted index of growth (2015=100) increased 4.5 points to 108.8. Since January 2017, growth in wholesale trade has been highly volatile: starting at 111.7 in January, the index increased to a new high of 120.3 in May, only to decline sharply to a low of 103.5 in September. In October, the index turned a corner and began increasing again.

In Nova Scotia November 2017, on a seasonally adjusted basis month-over-month wholesale sales increased 4.3 per cent to $836.7 million.   On a year-over-year basis, wholesale sales were 11.0 per cent higher than November 2016.  On a year-to-date basis (Jan-Nov total) wholesale sales were 8.0% higher than the same period last year.

In Canada November 2017, on a seasonally adjusted basis the wholesale index of growth (2015=100) increased 0.8 points to 115.6. On a month-over-month basis, wholesale sales increased 0.7 per cent to $63.6 billion.  On a year-over-year basis, wholesale sales were 10.8 per cent higher over November 2016.  On a year-to-date basis (Jan-Nov totals) wholesale sales were 9.5% higher than the same period last year.

In Canada November 2017, sales were up in six of seven industries, over the previous month:

  • Machinery and equipment subsector were up 0.2% to $12.6 billion.
  • Food and beverage were up 1.9% to $12.2 billion.
  • Building materials and supplies were up 0.6% to $9.0 billion.
  • Motor vehicle and parts increased 0.7% to $12.0 billion.
  • Miscellaneous subsector increased 0.6% to $8.0 billion.
  • Personal and household goods sales were unchanged at $8.8 billion.
  • Farm product decreased 1.1% to $847 million


By Province

In month-over-month seasonally adjusted wholesale sales, Nova Scotia (+4.3%) led the way. Canada reported an increase of 0.7% over the previous month. Only four provinces reported positive-growth.

On a year-over-year basis, Nova Scotia (+11.0%) ranked 5th.  New Brunswick led the way with growth in sales increasing 14.7% over November 2016. Alberta (+14.2%), Quebec (+12.6%), and Ontario (+12.1%) also recorded double digit growth over the same period last year. Four provinces reported single digit, positive growth and Newfoundland and Labrador (-24.9%) reported negative growth. 

On a year-to-date basis, Nova Scotia (+8.0%) ranked 7th. Prince Edward Island recorded the highest sales growth at 11.3%. Alberta (+10.6%), British Columbia (+10.5%), and Quebec (+10.4%) also recorded double-digit year-to-date growth. The five provinces, including Nova Scotia, reported single digit growth in the range of 2.4% to 9.2%. Canada recorded a 9.5% growth in wholesale trade.



Nova Scotia Sectors

Statistics Canada now releases seasonally adjusted wholesale trade data by sector at the provincial level. As there has been significant volatility in recent wholesale values for Nova Scotia. Year-to-date comparisons are more indicative of economic conditions for volatile indicators and seasonally adjusted wholesale values will also smooth out the indicator.

Year-to-date wholesale sales by sector in Nova Scotia increased by $679.6 million, or by 8.0 per cent compared to Jan-Nov 2016. The dollar increase was largely accounted for by four subsectors: Food, beverage and tobacco wholesalers (+$311 million); building material and supplies wholesalers (+$202 million), Machinery/equipment ($151 million), and Motor vehicle and parts ($166 million). One subsector had a decline: miscellaneous wholesalers declined $101 million.




 Statistics Canada: CANSIM table 081-0011



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