05/17/2012 08:56 EDT | Updated 07/17/2012 05:12 EDT

Wholesale trade up 0.4 per cent in March: StatsCan

OTTAWA - Statistics Canada says wholesale sales rose 0.4 per cent in March to $48.7 billion, with increases in three of the seven subsectors, accounting for almost half of total sales.

The agency says wholesalers have posted posted nine monthly increases over the last year, which translates into a growth rate of 6.0 per cent compared with March 2011.

In volume terms, wholesale sales were unchanged.

The reports says the largest increase in dollar terms in March was in the motor vehicle and parts subsector, where sales rose 2.4 per cent to $8 billion, mainly due to higher sales in the motor vehicle industry.

Sales were higher in five provinces in March, with Quebec and Ontario leading the posted gains.