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Wholesale Services Price Index, second quarter 2016

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Released: 2016-11-17

The Wholesale Services Price Index (WSPI) rose 1.2% in the second quarter, with five of the eight subsectors posting margin gains. This was the third consecutive quarterly increase.

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

Higher margins for machinery, equipment and supplies merchant wholesalers (+2.8%) contributed the most to the increase in the WSPI in the second quarter. The gain in this subsector was attributable to higher margins for merchant wholesalers of construction, forestry, mining, and industrial machinery, equipment and supplies (+2.2%), other machinery, equipment and supplies (+4.6%) and computer and communications equipment and supplies (+3.3%).

Also contributing to the increase were merchant wholesalers of motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories (+4.6%), who reported their largest quarterly gain since the first quarter of 2008. Higher margins were reported by merchant wholesalers of motor vehicle (+6.3%) and new motor vehicle parts and accessories (+2.8%).

To a lesser extent, building material and supplies (+1.8%), personal and household goods (+1.3%) and miscellaneous (+0.9%) merchant wholesalers also contributed to the gain.

Moderating the increase in the WSPI in the second quarter were lower margins for petroleum and petroleum products (-4.2%) and farm product (-8.9%), and to a lesser extent, for food, beverage and tobacco (-0.5%) merchant wholesalers.

Year-over-year change

The WSPI advanced 4.5% in the second quarter compared with the same quarter in 2015. This was the 11th consecutive year-over-year increase.

Miscellaneous merchant wholesalers (+10.1%) recorded the largest year-over-year margin gain. This subsector was followed by motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories merchant wholesalers (+8.4%), which registered the largest gain since the first quarter of 2008.

Margins were also up for food, beverage and tobacco (+6.0%), machinery, equipment and supplies (+4.9%) and building materials and supplies (+3.2%) merchant wholesalers.

Petroleum and petroleum products (-4.8%) and farm product (-1.6%) merchant wholesalers posted margin declines.

  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.

With the release of second quarter 2016 data, the WSPI was updated to increase its relevance. The WSPI update, which took effect in the first quarter of 2016, included the selection of a new sample for four of eight major wholesale subsectors, the adoption of the 2012 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) and updates to WSPI basket weights for all wholesale subsectors.

The following wholesale subsectors were updated with new samples:

1. Petroleum and petroleum products merchant wholesalers (NAICS 412)

2. Food, beverage and tobacco merchant wholesalers (NAICS 413)

3. Personal and household goods merchant wholesalers (NAICS 414)

4. Miscellaneous merchant wholesalers (NAICS 418).

The WSPI series were also converted to 2013=100, with 2013 as the base year. The relative importance of the basket items was updated using the 2013 industry gross margins from Annual Wholesale Trade Survey (2445).

Two new CANSIM tables, 332-0029 (monthly) and 332-0030 (quarterly), based on 2013=100 and using new vectors, replaced CANSIM tables 332-0006 and 332-0008, which were archived with the release of second quarter 2016 data.

As a result of these updates, users should exercise caution when comparing index levels based on the new basket with index levels based on the old basket.

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 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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