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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

Thomas StorringDirector – Economics and Statistics
Tel: 902-424-2410Email: thomas.storring@novascotia.ca

June 18, 2020
WHOLESALE TRADE, APRIL 2020

During the COVID-19 pandemic, comparisons of year-to-date averages and sums do not show Nova Scotia’s rapidly changing economic situation.  The DailyStats will focus on year-over-year comparisons, comparing one month with the same month in the prior year.  Where possible the DailyStats will make comparisons of seasonally adjusted data from the pre-COVID-19 period (January  and February 2020) with the period during which COVID-19 measures were in place from March 2020 onwards.

 

MONTH-OVER-MONTH

 

In Nova Scotia April 2020, on a seasonally adjusted basis

  • month-over-month Wholesale Trade decreased 19.5 per cent $707.4 million over March 2020.
  • year-over-year Wholesale Trade decreased 18.8 per cent over April 2019. 

In Canada April 2020, on a seasonally adjusted basis

  • month-over-month Wholesale Trade decreased 21.6 per cent $49.8 billion over March 2020.
  • year-over-year Wholesale Trade decreased 23.4 per cent over April 2019.

 

BY PROVINCE

On a month over month basis, seasonally adjusted Wholesale Trade was down 21.6 per cent nationally. in percentage terms, Saskatchewan (1.6 per cent)  reported  the only gain. Nova Scotia  reported a decline (19.5 per cent) over the previous month.  Ontario reported the largest decline  (30.2 per cent) over the previous month.

 

On a year-over-year basis, seasonally adjusted Wholesale Trade was down 23.4 per cent nationally. In percentage terms, Prince Edward Island (10.7 per cent)  reported the only gain.  Nova Scotia   reported a decline (18.8 per cent)  over the previous year.  Compared to April 2019 Ontario  reported the largest decline  (30.4 per cent).

 

  

NOVA SCOTIA SECTORS

Year-Over-Year

 

Nova Scotia (Apr 2020 vs Apr 2019), Total wholesale trade year-over-year decreased 18.8 per cent  (-$163.7  million) over the same month last year.

  • Food, beverage with a 34% share of Wholesale Trade decreased 12.1 per cent  (-$32.8  million).
  • Motor vehicle and parts with a 15% share decreased 38.5 per cent  (-$64.5  million).
  • Building material with a 20% share decreased 21.5 per cent  (-$38.3  million).
  • Machinery, equipment with a 18% share decreased 15.8 per cent  (-$23.7  million).
  • Miscellaneous wholesalers with a 9% share increased 8.2 per cent  ($4.7  million).
  • Other wholesalers with a 6% share decreased 19.0 per cent  (-$9.2  million).

 

 

 

 

WHOLESALE INVENTORIES

"Wholesale inventories increased 1.2% in April to $93.0 billion. Five of seven subsectors recorded gains, accounting for more than half of total wholesale inventories. Following an increase to 1.45 in March, the inventory-to-sales ratio jumped to 1.87 in April, the highest value on record, as all subsectors experienced gains. The motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories subsector contributed the most to the rise, as its inventory-to-sales ratio climbed from 1.38 in March to 3.83 in April."  Statistics Canada

 

 

STATISTICS CANADA QUOTES

COVID-19 in April

As the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic continued to spread throughout the economy, wholesale sales plummeted an unprecedented 21.6% to $49.8 billion in April, the lowest level since July 2013.

  • All seven subsectors recorded lower sales for the first time since November 2008. In dollar terms, the motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories subsector contributed the most to the decline.  Excluding motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories, wholesale sales were down 14.2%. Wholesale sales volumes dropped 21.5%, a record monthly decline, to their lowest level since September 2009.
  • The motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories subsector recorded the largest dollar-value impact from the COVID-19 pandemic in April, down $5.4 billion (unadjusted). Many of these companies noted that COVID-19 caused manufacturing stoppages, dealership closures and disruptions in consumer demand.
  • Over nine-tenths (90.1%) of wholesalers in the personal and household goods  subsector reported that their businesses were affected by COVID-19, the highest proportion among all subsectors for a second consecutive month. Respondents in the subsector reported that the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in $2.6 billion (unadjusted) of lost sales in April, led by the textile, clothing and footwear industry (-$943 million, unadjusted). Respondents in the industry indicated that the lower sales volumes were mainly attributable to retail closures.

 

Reference Tables

20-10-0074-01 Seasonally adjusted Wholesale sales by province 

20-10-0074-01 Nova Scotia seasonally adjusted Wholesale trade by NAICS sectors

20-10-0076-01 Canada seasonally adjusted Wholesale Trade Inventory

 

Citations

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

Statistics Canada. Table 20-10-0076-01 Wholesale Trade Inventories (x 1,000)



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