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Wholesale Services Price Index, first quarter 2018

Released: 2018-07-19

The Wholesale Services Price Index (WSPI) rose 0.8% in the first quarter, following a 0.3% increase in the fourth quarter of 2017. Margins were up in four of the eight subsectors and down in the other four subsectors.

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

The increase in the WSPI in the first quarter was led by machinery, equipment and supplies merchant wholesalers (+2.3%), as margin growth was widespread across most industries in this subsector.

Miscellaneous merchant wholesalers (+2.3%) also contributed to the increase in the WSPI, as higher margins were recorded for agricultural chemical and other farm supplies and all other miscellaneous merchant wholesalers.

Margins were up for building material and supplies merchant wholesalers (+1.1%), largely as a result of higher margins for electrical wiring and construction supplies merchant wholesalers.

Motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories merchant wholesalers (+0.8%) also posted margin gains, primarily due to higher margins for other new motor vehicle parts and accessories merchant wholesalers.

Moderating the quarterly increase in the WSPI was petroleum and petroleum products merchant wholesalers, as margins declined 2.0% following a 0.2% increase in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Lower margins were also recorded for food, beverage and tobacco (-0.3%), personal and household goods (-0.3%) and farm product (-0.3%) merchant wholesalers.

Year-over-year change

The WSPI rose 2.3% in the first quarter compared with the same quarter of 2017, as margins were up in six of the eight subsectors. This was the 18th consecutive year-over-year increase in the WSPI.

Miscellaneous merchant wholesalers (+4.3%) posted the largest year-over-year margin gain, followed by food, beverage and tobacco (+3.9%) and machinery, equipment and supplies (+3.9%) merchant wholesalers.

Margins were also up for building material and supplies (+3.5%), farm product (+1.3%) and personal and household goods (+1.0%) merchant wholesalers.

Margins declined for petroleum and petroleum products merchant wholesalers (-1.8%) in the first quarter, following year-over-year margin gains in every quarter of 2017.

Motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories merchant wholesalers (-1.7%) also posted lower margins.


  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.

Infographic: The evolution of margins in the wholesale trade sector (2008–2017)

The infographic, "Wholesale Services Price Index (WSPI) 2008 to 2017," which is part of Statistics Canada — Infographics (Catalogue number11-627-M), is now available. It demonstrates how margins in the Canadian wholesale trade sector have evolved from the first quarter of 2008 to the fourth quarter of 2017.

A Historical Timeline of Canadian Producer Price Statistics

A Historical Timeline of Canadian Producer Price Statistics, which is part of the Prices Analytical Series (Catalogue number62F0014M), was created to showcase the key milestones in the history of Canadian producer price statistics. This historical timeline contains answers to questions such as: Who collected Canada's first statistics? What do Canadian producer price indexes measure?

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), 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; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; STATCAN.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.STATCAN@canada.ca).

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