(OTTAWA) Canadian wholesale sales fell 1.7% in February to 85.6 billion, after hitting a record high in January, Statistics Canada said Monday.

Sales fell in five of the seven sub-sectors studied by the federal agency, and were mainly attributable to the group of motor vehicles, and motor vehicle parts and accessories, as well as to that of food, beverages and tobacco.

Sales by wholesalers of motor vehicles and vehicle parts and accessories fell 5.5% to 12.4 billion in February, with sales of motor vehicles falling 6.2%.

Meanwhile, sales in the food, beverage and tobacco subsector fell 3.9% to $15.1 billion.

The machinery, equipment and supplies subsector saw sales rise 1.5% to $18.2 billion in February.

Expressed in constant dollars, wholesale sales fell 1.8% in February.

Sales fell in seven provinces in February, which accounted for 87% of national sales. The steepest decline was seen in Quebec, where sales fell 3.3% to $15.0 billion, largely due to the food, beverage and tobacco subsector.

Sales by Quebec wholesalers have been down in 6 of the past 12 months, and February’s decline marked their largest monthly change since November 2021, Statistics Canada said.