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Wholesale Services Price Index, first quarter 2016

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Released: 2016-08-18

The Wholesale Services Price Index (WSPI) was up 0.2% in the first quarter compared with the previous quarter. Five of the eight subsectors reported increases, two reported decreases and one was unchanged.

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

The gain in the first quarter was led by building material and supplies wholesalers (+1.7%), which were up mainly as a result of increases in metal service centres (+6.6%).

Also contributing to the increase were higher margins for miscellaneous wholesalers (+1.9%), led by paper, paper product and disposable plastic product wholesalers (+7.4%).

Margins for machinery, equipment and supplies wholesalers rose 0.9%, as a result of gains in other machinery, equipment and supplies wholesalers (+4.6%).

Farm product wholesalers (+5.2%) posted the largest increase, mainly as a result of higher margins for oilseed and grain wholesalers (+6.6%).

Moderating the increase in the WSPI in the first quarter were lower margins for petroleum and petroleum products wholesalers (-8.3%). Personal and household goods wholesalers (-0.6%) also posted a decrease.

Margins for motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories wholesalers were unchanged, as gains in new motor vehicle parts and accessories wholesalers (+2.7%) were offset by declines in motor vehicle (-1.8%) and used motor vehicle parts and accessories (-6.7%) wholesalers.

Year-over-year change

In the first quarter, the WSPI advanced 2.7% compared with the first quarter of 2015, the 10th consecutive year-over-year increase. Building material and supplies wholesalers (+4.9%) registered the largest gain.

Margins were also up for miscellaneous (+4.5%), food, beverage and tobacco (+4.2%), machinery, equipment and supplies (+2.6%), and motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories (+2.6%) wholesalers.

Petroleum and petroleum products wholesalers (-3.7%) registered the lone year-over-year decrease.

  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.

Statistics Canada is undertaking two important initiatives for the WSPI program. The WSPI industry classification will be updated from the 2007 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) to NAICS 2012, and the basket will also be updated (2013=100). These changes will be implemented in November 2016. More information and the concordance between the old CANSIM vectors and new CANSIM vectors will be available at that time.

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.

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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