(Adds details from report)
OTTAWA, April 24 Canadian wholesale trade
declined less than expected in February after four consecutive
months of increases, weighed by weakness in the household goods
and food sectors, data from Statistics Canada showed on Monday.
The 0.2 percent decrease was not as steep as the 1.0 percent
decline economists had forecast. January was revised down
slightly to show a gain of 3.0 percent from the previously
reported 3.3 percent.
Stripping out the effect of prices, volumes were down 0.4
percent. Overall, sales fell in four out of seven sectors,
accounting for 54 percent of wholesale trade.
The personal and household goods sector led the way down
with a 1.7 percent decline. Sales dropped in five out of six of
the sector's industries, including home entertainment equipment
and household appliances.
Declines in the food industry helped the food, beverage and
tobacco sector fall by 1.0 percent.
The building material and supplies sector helped offset
overall weakness with a 0.6 percent increase, the fifth monthly
gain in a row.
(Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Bernadette Baum)