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Wholesale Services Price Index, first quarter 2013

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Released: 2013-08-09

The Wholesale Services Price Index (WSPI) fell 1.3% in the first quarter, marking the second consecutive quarterly decline. All major wholesale sectors except one were down.

Lower margins posted by wholesalers of motor vehicles and parts (-3.7%) and farm products wholesalers (-3.3%) contributed to the decline of the WSPI. Among the other sectors contributing to the downward movement of the WSPI were wholesalers of petroleum products (-2.7%), machinery, equipment and supplies wholesalers (-1.8%), food, beverage and tobacco wholesalers (-0.8%), building material and supplies wholesalers (-0.6%) and wholesalers of miscellaneous (-0.6%) products.

Wholesalers of personal and household goods (+0.3%) were the lone group to record a gain in the first quarter.

Year over year, the WSPI declined 0.8%. This was the first year-over-year margin decrease in the WSPI since the fourth quarter of 2011. Wholesalers of miscellaneous products (-4.4%) posted the largest decline. The decline in miscellaneous products was largely driven by agricultural supplies, coinciding with declining potash prices over the past year. During the same period, margins for wholesalers of machinery, equipment and supplies (-2.4%) also fell. In the first quarter, the Canadian dollar depreciated 1.7% against the US dollar compared with the previous quarter. Variations in exchange rates can have a strong influence on the WSPI given the high composition of imported machinery and equipment in the index. A margin decline was also posted by wholesalers of motor vehicle and parts (-1.6%).

The largest year-over-year margin increase was registered by wholesalers of petroleum products (+7.6%). Margin increases by wholesalers of personal and household goods (+0.4%) and farm products (+0.3%) exerted upward pressure on the year-over-year movement of the WSPI.

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 second quarter will be released in November.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; infostats@statcan.gc.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; statcan.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.statcan@canada.ca).

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