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Wholesale Services Price Index, fourth quarter 2012

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Released: 2013-05-10

The Wholesale Services Price Index (WSPI) fell 0.4% in the fourth quarter, following a 0.2% advance in the third quarter.

The decline of the WSPI was largely a result of margin decreases by wholesalers of farm products (-8.4%) and machinery, equipment and supplies (-1.3%). Miscellaneous wholesalers (-1.2%) and food, beverage and tobacco wholesalers (-1.0%) also contributed to the decrease of the WSPI in the fourth quarter.

Margin increases by wholesalers of petroleum products (+6.7%) and building material and supplies (+1.2%) moderated the downward movement of the WSPI in the fourth quarter. The margin advance by building materials and supplies wholesalers was the second increase posted by this sector in 10 quarters.

Year over year, the WSPI posted its fourth consecutive quarter of year-over-year increases (+1.9%), with five of the eight wholesale sectors registering margin advances. The largest year-over-year margin increases were registered by wholesalers of farm products (+18.1%) and petroleum products (+13.3%). Other wholesale sectors that contributed to the upward year-over-year movement of the WSPI included motor vehicle and parts (+3.2%), food, beverage and tobacco (+3.0%) and machinery, equipment and supplies (+2.7%). Continuing year-over-year increases in commodity prices for wheat, canola and soybeans may have contributed to the margin advances posted by the farm products sector.

Margins for wholesalers of building materials and supplies (-1.1%) continued to decline, marking the ninth consecutive quarter of year-over-year decreases. Miscellaneous wholesalers (-3.3%) also reported decreasing margins in the fourth quarter.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Wholesale Services Price Index - Description and data table
Wholesale Services Price Index

Chart 1: Wholesale Services Price Index - Description and data table

  Note to readers

The Wholesale Services Price Index (WSPI) 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. The WSPI is not a wholesale selling price index.

With each release, data for the previous quarter may have been revised. 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 Prices Index for the first quarter will be released in August.

Contact information

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