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% gain forecast by analysts, was the greatest since a 3.8% advance seen in November 2009 and pushed sales to a record $59.09 billion.
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.
January sales in the motor vehicle industry rose by nearly 21 per cent from December, hitting a record high of $9.27 billion.
Factoring out the auto sector, wholesale sales increased by 0.3 per cent in January.
In the personal and household goods subsector, sales rose by three per cent to $8.5 billion, propelled by a 30.6 per cent increase in the home entertainment equipment and household appliance industry.
Sales increased in four of the seven sub-sectors while in volume terms sales rose 3.4% for a 4.2% annual increase.
Wholesale inventories fell 0.3% in January, the first decline in six months, with a sharp decline in motor vehicle inventories.