Government of Nova Scotia, Canada

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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

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

May 15, 2023


Starting with this release, petroleum products data will be available within Statics Canada's data tables. This distorts monthly, year-over-year and year-to-date comparisons. The effect causes data for oil-producing regions to increase more rapidly than in other provinces, distorting the graphic. The colour bars for Alberta are truncated and  displayed in gray vs the normal green. 

MONTH-OVER-MONTH (seasonally adjusted, March 2023 vs February 2023)

Nova Scotia wholesale trade increased 11.1% to $1.3 billion. Canada wholesale trade increased 46.0% to $125.1 billion. Excluding petroleum, national wholesale trade edged down 0.1% to 85.6 billion in March. All ten provinces reported an increase.  Ontario reported the smallest increase while Alberta reported the largest increase.  

YEAR-OVER-YEAR (seasonally adjusted, March 2023 vs March 2022)

Nova Scotia wholesale trade increased 11.4%. Canada wholesale trade increased 55.8%, 6.9% excluding petroleum, oilseeds and grains. All ten provinces reported year over year increases in wholesale trade. The prairie provinces and Newfoundland and Labrador reported the largest gains while Prince Edward Island and British Columbia reported the smallest gains.

YEAR-TO-DATE (January-March 2023 vs January-March 2022)

Nova Scotia wholesale trade increased 6.7%. Canada wholesale trade increased 24.2%, but only 0.5% excluding petroleum, oilseeds and grains. Nine of ten provinces reported year to date increases.  The prairie provinces  reported the largest year-to-date gains in wholesale trade, and British Columbia reported the only decline.  

The largest dollar contributions to Nova Scotia's to wholesale trade growth came from food and beverage wholesalers as well as building materials wholesalers.  Data for wholesale trade in farm products and personal/household goods were not included.

The largest percentage contributions to Nova Scotia's to wholesale trade growth came from motor vehicle and parts wholesalers, and machinery/equipment wholesalers.  Miscellaneous wholesalers and building material wholesalers reported year-to-date declines over the same period last year.   


Over the past year, there has been high volatility in Nova Scotia's wholesale trade with several large declines and recoveries. Canada reported a very large increase with the inclusion of petroleum products in the last month. 

National wholesale inventories increased $42.5 billion from January to March, as petroleum products were included. The national ratio of inventories to sales fell  from 1.39 in March.  

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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