Wholesale Services Price Index, first quarter 2012

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The Wholesale Services Price Index (WSPI) rose 0.9% in the first quarter of 2012 compared with the fourth quarter of 2011.

Wholesale margins increases were recorded in four of the eight wholesale sectors. Machinery, equipment and supplies wholesalers (+3.4%) posted the largest first quarter margin increase following a relatively stable 2011. The increase in the first quarter was a result of higher selling prices, which led to margin advances in all four subsectors: farm, lawn and garden machinery and equipment (+4.3%); construction, forestry, mining, and industrial machinery, equipment and supplies (+2.8%); computer and communications equipment and supplies (+7.5%); and other machinery, equipment and supplies (+1.0%).

Wholesalers of building material and supplies posted a margin decline of 1.9% in the first quarter compared with the previous quarter. The decline was mainly the result of margin decreases for wholesalers of electrical, plumbing, heating and air-conditioning equipment and supplies (-5.6%) and metal service centres (-2.8%).

Year over year, the WSPI advanced 1.8% in the first quarter. The largest contributors to the year-over-year margin increase were wholesalers of miscellaneous products (+10.0%) and wholesalers of farm products (+6.6%). Wholesalers of machinery, equipment and supplies reported a 3.8% year-over-year margin increase.

Wholesalers of building material and supplies recorded a margin decline of 1.9% in the first quarter compared with the same quarter in 2011. Wholesalers of motor and vehicle parts (-0.2%) also posted a year-over-year decrease.

The petroleum products margin fell 0.6% in the first quarter, marking the fifth consecutive quarter of year-over-year margin declines in this sector.

Chart 1 
Services Producer Price Index: Wholesale services
Chart 1: Services Producer Price Index: Wholesale services

Chart description: Services Producer Price Index: Wholesale services

CSV version of the chart

Note to readers

Data for the most recent quarter are subject to revision. The series are also subject to an annual revision with the release of second quarter data of the following reference year. The indexes are not seasonally adjusted.

The Wholesale Services Price Index (WSPI) is part of the Services Producer Price Index program at Statistics Canada. The WSPI is not a wholesale selling price index. The index represents the change in the price of the wholesale service. The price of the wholesale service is defined as the margin price, which is the difference between the average purchase price and the average selling price of the wholesale product being priced.

With this release, an additional CANSIM table is available that presents the WSPI as a quarterly index. The table that presents monthly data will continue to be updated with each release.

Available without charge in CANSIM: tables CANSIM table332-0006 and CANSIM table332-0008.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number survey number5106.

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Statistics Canada's National Contact Centre (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 613-951-8116; infostats@statcan.gc.ca) or the Media Hotline (613-951-4636; statcan.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.statcan@canada.ca).