(Ottawa) Statistics Canada reports that wholesale sales, excluding petroleum, petroleum products and other hydrocarbons and excluding oilseeds and grains, fell 0.5% to 81.7 billion in october.

The federal agency reports that sales fell in five of the seven subsectors it tracks, including machinery, equipment and supplies, which fell 1.6% in October to 17.7 billion.

It said the decline in the subsector was mainly due to lower sales in the industrial and construction, forestry and mining machinery, equipment and supplies group, which fell 3.6%. to 6.0 billion, while the computer and communications equipment group fell 2.9% to 5.0 billion.

The construction materials and supplies subsector increased 1.1% to $12.1 billion.

In volume terms, wholesale sales declined 0.7% in October.

Statistics Canada began including the oilseeds and grains industry group and the petroleum and petroleum products subsector as part of wholesale trade earlier this year, but excludes the data from its monthly analysis until ‘that historical data is available for monthly and annual analysis.