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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

Thomas StorringDirector – Economics and Statistics
Tel: 902-424-2410Email:

June 14, 2024


Starting with the March 2023 reference month, petroleum products data are available within Statistics Canada's data on wholesale trade. This distorts year-to-date comparisons as well as the national inventory to sales ratio. The effect causes data for oil-producing regions to increase more rapidly than in other provinces.                                                                        

Monthly (seasonally adjusted, April 2024 vs March 2024)

Nova Scotia wholesale trade increased 3.5% to $1.36 billion. National wholesale trade grew 4.1% to $122.2 billion in April. All provinces reported an increase except Quebec, led by Prince Edward Island. 

Year-over-year (seasonally adjusted, April 2024 vs April 2023)

Nova Scotia wholesale trade increased 10.7%. Canada's wholesale trade decreased 4.0%. Five provinces reported year over year increases in wholesale trade. New Brunswick and Manitoba reported the largest gains. Alberta reported the largest decline. 

Year-to-date (January-April 2024 vs January-April 2023)

Nova Scotia wholesale trade increased 10.7% in the first four months of 2024 compared to the same period of 2023. Canada's wholesale trade increased 13.2%. Eight provinces reported year over year increases in wholesale trade. Alberta and New Brunswick reported the largest gains. Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan reported declines. 

The largest dollar contributions to Nova Scotia's wholesale trade came from food and beverage wholesalers and building materials wholesalers.  

The largest percentage gain in Nova Scotia's wholesale trade was for machinery, equipment while there was a decline in miscellaneous wholesale trade. 



Over the past year, there has been high volatility in Nova Scotia's wholesale trade with large declines and recoveries. Canada reported a very large increase as the data series was changed to include petroleum products.

After the break in the data series with the inclusion of petroleum products in March 2023, wholesale inventories trended down as a share of sales, but there was a recovery at the end of 2023. In recent months, wholesale inventories as a share of sales are trending down again. The wholesale inventories as a share of sales were 1.15 in April 2024.

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 20-10-0074-01 Wholesale trade, sales (x 1,000)Table 20-10-0076-01  Wholesale trade, inventories (x 1,000)

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