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Wholesale Services Price Index, fourth quarter 2015

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Released: 2016-05-13

The Wholesale Services Price Index (WSPI) was up 1.5% in the fourth quarter. Gains were widespread, with seven of eight major sectors reporting increases and one sector posting a decline.

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

Margins for petroleum and petroleum product wholesalers recovered from the previous quarter and posted the largest increase (+7.3%). Purchase prices for petroleum and petroleum products declined at a faster pace than selling prices in the fourth quarter.

Margins for motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories wholesalers (+2.2%) widened, as growth in selling prices outpaced that of purchase prices.

Miscellaneous wholesalers registered a 2.0% increase, largely as a result of higher margins for chemical (except agricultural) products (+10.1%) and stationery and office supplies wholesalers (+10.4%).

Machinery, equipment and supplies rose 1.1%, with industrial machinery, equipment and supplies wholesalers (+4.8%) contributing the most to the increase.

Margins also grew for farm products (+5.5%), food, beverage and tobacco (+0.8%), and personal and household goods (+0.3%) wholesalers.

Building material and supplies wholesalers (-0.2%) registered the lone decrease.

Year-over-year change

Year over year, the WSPI advanced 2.1%, the ninth consecutive year-over-year increase. Food, beverage and tobacco wholesalers (+5.0%) registered the largest increase, driven by margin growth in other specialty-line food (+17.3%) and fish and seafood (+13.8%).

Margins were also up for petroleum and petroleum products (+4.2%), miscellaneous goods (+2.8%), building material and supplies (+2.1%), machinery, equipment and supplies (+2.0%), and motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories (+1.7%) wholesalers.

Farm product wholesalers (-9.4%) recorded a year-over-year decrease as a result of declines in margins of live animals (-13.4%) and oilseed and grain (-12.4%).

  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. Starting with the fourth quarter of 2014, the WSPI program changed its data collection mode from a paper questionnaire to an online electronic questionnaire.

Infographic: Producer Price Indexes at a Glance

The infographic, "Producer Price Indexes at a Glance," which is part of Statistics Canada — Infographics (Catalogue number11-627-M), is now available. This infographic demonstrates how producer price indexes for goods and services are calculated and why they are important for the Canadian economy.


The infographic, "Producer Price Indexes at a Glance," which is part of Statistics Canada — Infographics (Catalogue number11-627-M), is available from the Browse by key resource module of our website, under Publications.

Contact information

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