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Wholesale Services Price Index, first quarter 2015

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Released: 2015-08-17

The Wholesale Services Price Index (WSPI) decreased 0.3% in the first quarter. Of the eight major wholesale sectors, margins were down in five, up in two and unchanged in one.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Wholesale Services Price Index
Wholesale Services Price Index

The largest decrease in the first quarter was posted by wholesalers of farm products (-5.1%), as a result of lower margins by wholesalers of live animals (-26.0%) and oilseed and grains (-5.5%).

The second largest decrease was recorded by wholesalers of petroleum and petroleum products (-2.1%). Lower selling prices outpaced declines in purchase prices for crude oil, diesel, gasoline and aviation fuel, resulting in lower margins over the quarter.

Margin decreases were also registered by wholesalers of personal and household goods (-0.9%), miscellaneous products (-0.7%) and motor vehicles and parts (-0.4%).

Moderating the decline in the WSPI were margin increases by wholesalers of food, beverage and tobacco products (+1.3%) and building materials and supplies (+0.5%).

Margins were unchanged for wholesalers of machinery, equipment and supplies in the first quarter.

Year over year, the WSPI advanced 2.3% in the first quarter.

This advance was mainly attributable to margin increases by wholesalers of food, beverage and tobacco products (+9.0%), petroleum and petroleum products (+7.5%), and building materials and supplies (+6.2%).

Wholesalers of food, beverage and tobacco products recorded their seventh consecutive year-over-year quarterly increase. Wholesalers of red meat and meat products (+48.6%) led the increase in the first quarter, followed by wholesalers of fish and seafood products (+20.2%) and poultry and eggs (+13.0%).

In the first quarter, the margins for wholesalers of petroleum and petroleum products rose 7.5% year over year, with most of the increase occurring in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Year-over-year margin declines were reported for wholesalers of farm products (-3.8%), miscellaneous products (-1.3%), motor vehicles and parts (-1.1%), personal and household goods (-1.0%) and machinery, equipment and supplies (-0.1%).


  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. Data are available at the Canada level only. Beginning in the fourth quarter of 2014, the data collection mode changed as the data were collected through an online electronic questionnaire instead of paper.

Next release

The WSPI 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; infostats@statcan.gc.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; statcan.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.statcan@canada.ca).

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