Warehouse Inventories Snapshot


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Statistics Canada is reporting a year-over-year increase in Canada’s wholesale inventories as of November 2023. According to the latest data, total wholesale inventories rose from $125.98B in November 2022 to $142.18B in November 2023, representing a 12.9% year-over-year (YoY) increase. The research also shows inventories dipping by 1.6% from October 2023. 

It’s somewhat of a reverse trend when it comes to the category of electrical, plumbing, heating and air conditioning equipment and supplies. According to Stats Can, total inventories are down 3.5% YoY from $6.96B in November 2022 to $6.72B as of November 2023. Meanwhile, levels are up by 0.7% from one month prior.  

Elsewhere, Stats Canada’s early estimates indicate a slight dip of wholesale sales in December (-0.04%) but an overall rise across the board. In a report issued January 26th, Stats Can notes: “The advance results for December indicate that wholesale sales (excluding petroleum, petroleum products, other hydrocarbons and oilseed and grain) rose 0.8%. The increase reflects higher sales in the motor vehicle parts and accessories subsector and the building material and supplies subsector." 

A US Perspective 

US Wholesale inventories have also seen a slight decrease in recent months. In a Reuters report shared by HRAI’s partners at the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW), the US’s Commerce Department's Census Bureau saw wholesale inventories slip by 3% YoY and 0.2% from October 2023 to November 2023. 

According to Reuters reporter Lucia Mutikani: “Businesses are holding back on inventory accumulation in anticipation of slower demand this year following 525 basis points worth of interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve since March 2022.” 

The report also states that while the US experiences decreases in wholesale stocks of lumber, computer equipment, metals, electrical equipment, groceries, apparel, petroleum, chemicals and hardware, that stocks of machinery and professional equipment rose were trending upward. 

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