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Wholesale Services Price Index, fourth quarter 2013

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Released: 2014-05-09

The Wholesale Services Price Index (WSPI) rose 1.5% in the fourth quarter of 2013. This is the largest gain in the WSPI since the third quarter of 2008. Margin increases were registered by seven of the eight major wholesale sectors.

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

The increase in the WSPI was mainly attributable to margin gains posted by farm product wholesalers (+9.4%). The increase in the farm product sector was partly due to advances by wholesalers of oilseed and grain (+13.4%), resulting from decreases in the purchase price, which drove up the margin.

Wholesalers of petroleum products (+9.0%) and food, beverage and tobacco products (+2.5%) also contributed significantly to the fourth quarter gain of the WSPI. The advance by the petroleum product sector was mainly attributable to higher margins for gasoline and natural gas products.

To a lesser extent, margin increases by wholesalers of motor vehicle and parts (+1.0%) and personal and household goods (+0.7%) helped push the WSPI up in the fourth quarter. Margins for wholesalers in the machinery, equipment and supplies (+0.3%) and the miscellaneous sectors (+0.3%) were also up.

Conversely, margins for wholesalers of building material and supplies decreased (-0.2%).

The WSPI advanced 0.9% in the fourth quarter compared with the fourth quarter of 2012, the first year-over-year increase for 2013.

The year-over-year increase in the WSPI was primarily due to margin advances posted by the farm product sector (+24.5%), specifically by wholesalers of oilseed and grain products. Margin advances by the food, beverage and tobacco (+4.2%), the petroleum products (+2.7%) and the miscellaneous (+1.0%) sectors also contributed to the year-over-year increase.

The personal and household goods (+0.2%) and building material and supplies (+0.2%) sectors also posted gains.

The year-over-year advance of the WSPI was moderated by margin decreases for wholesalers of machinery, equipment and supplies (-3.6%) and motor vehicle and parts (-0.2%). This was the fourth consecutive quarter that machinery, equipment and supplies wholesalers posted a year-over-year decline. Variations in exchange rates can have a strong influence on the WSPI given the high composition of imported machinery and equipment in the index. Year over year, the Canadian dollar continued to depreciate, falling 5.6% against the US dollar.

  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

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; or Media Relations (613-951-4636;

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