OTTAWA - Cars, computer parts and the food industry drove wholesale sales up 0.9 per cent in May to $49.8 billion.
Statistics Canada says the biggest advance was in machinery, equipment and supplies — primarily due to higher sales of computer and communications equipment, which rose 7.3 per cent, the largest increase in four years.
The food industry saw wholesale sales increase 1.5 per cent, while the motor vehicle industry saw wholesale sales rise 2.9 per cent.
The agency says higher wholesale sales in the motor vehicle and parts subsector reflect a return to growth for the industry this year following a year of relatively flat sales in 2011.
Wholesalers in Quebec contributed the most to the national increase, followed by wholesalers in Alberta.
Inventories edged up 0.1 per cent to $59.7 billion in May, with a rise in 15 of the 25 industries.