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Wholesale Services Price Index, second quarter 2013

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Released: 2013-11-18

The Wholesale Services Price Index (WSPI) declined 0.5% in the second quarter. Of the eight major wholesale sectors, margins fell in five and rose in three.

The decline of the WSPI in the second quarter was led by lower margins by wholesalers of petroleum products (-5.8%). Machinery, equipment and supplies wholesalers (-1.6%) and personal and household goods wholesalers (-0.7%) also contributed to the decline of the WSPI in the second quarter. The decrease in margins by wholesalers of petroleum products was primarily a result of lower prices for diesel fuel (-7.6%) and furnace oil (-11.5%).

The other sectors that registered declines were miscellaneous wholesalers (-0.6%) and food, beverage and tobacco wholesalers (-0.2%).

Wholesalers of farm products (+5.1%) posted the largest margin advance in the second quarter, followed by wholesalers of motor vehicles and parts (+1.7%) and building material and supplies (+1.1%) wholesalers.

Year over year the WSPI fell 1.6%. This was the largest year-over-year decline since the fourth quarter of 2009. Declining margins were recorded in all but one of the wholesale sectors.

Margins for wholesalers of farm products (-6.8%) recorded the largest year-over-year decline, followed by wholesalers of miscellaneous products (-3.8%), machinery, equipment and supplies (-2.7%) as well as wholesalers of personal and household products (-2.0%). Year over year, the Canadian dollar depreciated 1.3% against the US dollar. Variations in exchange rates can have a strong influence on the WSPI given the high composition of imported machinery and equipment in the index.

Falling year-over-year margins were also registered by food, beverage and tobacco wholesalers (-0.7%), wholesalers of motor vehicle and parts (-0.5%) and petroleum products wholesalers (-0.1%).

Wholesalers of building material and supplies (+1.7%) posted the lone year-over-year margin gain to moderate the downward movement of the WSPI. This advance was mostly a result of margin increases in all subsectors of building material and supplies.

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 third quarter will be released in February 2014.

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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