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Wholesale Services Price Index, first quarter 2014

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Released: 2014-09-04

The Wholesale Services Price Index (WSPI) rose 0.7% in the first quarter. Among the eight major wholesale sectors, margins were up in five and down in three.

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 largest increase was posted by wholesalers of farm products (+8.8%). The increase in the farm product sector was largely attributable to margin gains by wholesalers of oilseed and grain products (+10.5%). Margins for canola and wheat recorded large increases during all three months of the first quarter.

To a lesser extent, margin increases by wholesalers of petroleum products (+1.6%), machinery, equipment and supplies (+1.3%) and food, beverage and tobacco products (+1.2%) also contributed to the first quarter advance of the WSPI. Gains registered by the petroleum product sector were mainly attributable to higher margins for natural gas products.

Margins for wholesalers of miscellaneous products were up 0.8%.

Conversely, increases in the WSPI were moderated by declines in the margins for wholesalers of personal and household goods (-1.0%), building material and supplies (-0.3%) and motor vehicle parts (-0.1%).

The WSPI was up 2.7% in the first quarter compared with the first quarter of 2013, posting its largest year-over-year increase since the first quarter of 2009.

The year-over-year gain in the WSPI was mainly attributable to margin increases in the farm product sector (+52.0%), specifically wholesalers of oilseed and grain products. Increased worldwide production of oilseed and grain products resulted in lower purchase prices; however, the declines in the selling prices were not as steep.

Margin gains by wholesalers of petroleum products (+9.0%), food, beverage and tobacco (+4.0%), the miscellaneous (+3.0%) and motor vehicles and parts (+2.1%) sectors also contributed to the year-over-year advance.

Year over year, the margin for machinery, equipment and supplies declined 0.5%. The Canadian dollar depreciated 8.6% against the US dollar year over year. Variations in exchange rates can have a strong influence on the WSPI given the high composition of imported machinery and equipment in the index.

Margins for wholesalers of building material and supplies (0.0%) were unchanged year over year.

  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; 514-283-8300; or Media Relations (613-951-4636;

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