OTTAWA — The automotive sector helped Canadian wholesale sales beat expectations and hit a record in January in another sign of gathering strength in the economy.
Statistics Canada says wholesale sales climbed 3.3 per cent to $59.1 billion in January, the largest monthly percentage gain since November 2009.
Economists had expected a gain of 0.5 per cent, according to Thomson Reuters.
The data follows recent stronger-than-expected results for manufacturing sales, trade and job creation in Canada.
The motor vehicle and parts subsector grew by 17.1 per cent at $11.9 billion, the largest gain in dollar terms and its first increase in three months.
Excluding the subsector, wholesale sales increased 0.3 per cent in January.
In volume terms, overall wholesale sales increased 3.4 per cent.