Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

Sept 13, 2019

GDP RiseReal gross domestic product (GDP) grew 0.9% in the second quarter, after edging up 0.1% in each of the previous two quarters. This growth was led by a 3.2% rise in export volumes, while final domestic demand edged down (-0.2%).

Expressed at an annualized rate, real GDP advanced 3.7% in the second quarter. In comparison, real GDP in the United States grew 2.0%.

Exports of goods rose 3.7% in the second quarter, following declines in previous two quarters. The increase was led by energy products, which grew 5.9% after a 3.0% decline in the first quarter. Exports of services rose 1.1%, maintaining the pace of the previous quarter. Import volumes declined 1.0%.

GDP growth was moderated by a 1.6% decline in business investment; notable declines occurred in outlays on machinery and equipment and engineering construction. Growth in consumer spending slowed to 0.1%. 

Businesses accumulated $11.9 billion in non-farm inventories in the second quarter, and the economy-wide stock-to-sales ratio remained at 0.85. Cannabis stocks contributed to the $2.1 billion accumulation of farm inventories.

Exports drive growth

The second quarter increase in export volumes was broad-based. In addition to the growth in energy products, farm and fishing products rebounded 15.2%, following an 8.4% decline in the first quarter. Exports of non-metallic minerals rose 19.0%, the sharpest upturn since the third quarter of 2016, and exports of aircraft and related engines and parts grew 10.0%. Exports of travel services rose 2.4%, after a 1.4% increase in the previous quarter.

Exports of pulp and paper dropped 10.6%, the fourth consecutive quarterly decline.

Import volumes declined 1.0% in the second quarter, after a 2.1% rise in the first quarter. Imports of aircraft and associated engines and parts fell sharply (-32.1%), following a 41.1% rise in the previous quarter. Other notable declines occurred in pharmaceuticals and medicinal products (-3.9%) and in communication and audio and video equipment (-6.7%).

Imports of energy products rebounded 7.8% in the second quarter, after a 4.2% decline in the first quarter, while imports of motor vehicles and parts slowed to 1.4% growth.

Imports of services fell 1.8%, largely owing to a 4.0% decline in imports of transportation services.

Growth in household spending slows

Growth in household spending slowed to 0.1% in the second quarter, following a 0.7% increase in the first quarter. Outlays on durable goods fell 0.3%, largely as a result of a 1.4% decline in purchases of vehicles. Outlays on semi-durable goods slowed to 0.3%.

Outlays on non-durable goods edged down 0.1%, after a 0.8% rise in the first quarter. Outlays on services rose 0.3%, after a 0.5% increase in the first quarter.

Housing investment resumes growth

Following five consecutive quarterly contractions, housing investment rose 1.4%, on broad-based gains. Increases in multi-dwelling investments and conversions led the growth in new home construction (+0.9%). Higher resale activities boosted growth in ownership transfer costs (+3.8%), while renovation activities grew 0.7%.

Non-residential business investment declines 

Business investment in non-residential structures and machinery and equipment fell 4.3% in the second quarter, following a 3.4% rise in the first quarter. The decrease was due mainly to a 9.3% decline in machinery and equipment investment, largely attributable to a 61.1% decrease in aircraft and other transportation equipment. Investment in computers and related equipment rose 7.7%, after a 1.7% decline in the first quarter.

Growth in business investment in non-residential buildings slowed to 1.1%, while investment in engineering structures declined 1.0%, the sixth consecutive quarterly decline.

Business investment in intellectual property products rose 0.6% in the second quarter, after a 1.3% decline in the first quarter. Mineral exploration and evaluation grew 1.3%, followed by software (+0.6%) and research and development (+0.3%).

Real gross national income continues to rise

Real gross national income, the real purchasing power of income earned by Canadian-owned factors of production, rose 1.3%, after a 1.1% gain in the first quarter. The GDP implicit price index, which reflects the overall price of domestically produced goods and services, rose 1.1%.

Canada's terms of trade—the ratio of the price of exports to the price of imports—rose 0.9% in the second quarter, following a 2.7% increase in the first quarter. Export prices increased 1.3%, while import prices rose 0.4%. The price of exported crude oil and crude bitumen continued to increase, rising 15.2%, after a 31.8% boost in the previous quarter.

Corporate earnings and household disposable income grow

The growth in the gross operating surplus accelerated to 3.7% in the second quarter, after rising 2.1% in the first quarter. Growth in compensation of employees strengthened to 1.7% in the second quarter as both goods- (+1.5%) and services- (+1.8%) producing industries increased. This contributed to a 1.3% rise in household disposable income and a 1.7% increase in the household saving rate.

Source: Statistics Canada,


Rick McCartenBy Rick McCarten

What how much does the electrical industry have to improve to complete with upcoming disruptions in the supply chain?

In May of this year, the delegates at Electro-Federation Canada (EFC)’s annual conference voted on when our industry would be hit with supply chain disruption. The group collectively agreed that our industry in Canada has only three years to prepare for major disruption. We need to act fast!



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David GordonBy David Gordon

The rep alignment dilemma… whom to align with to generate sales? End-users? National chains? Independent supportive distributors? Any distributor who will support the manufacturer? The manufacturer? But, the bottom line becomes, what will generate sales to meet manufacturer expectations?

It’s complicated, and channel consolidation and channel diversification will make this more complicated.


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Stephanie MedeirosBy Blake Marchand

Stephanie Medeiros leads ABB Canada’s Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure team, as well as transit bus charging in the United States and Canada. She has been with ABB in various positions for 10 years, compiling a diverse skillset that includes work all over the world. 

After receiving a degree in Electrical Engineering from McGill University, Medeiros got her start in the industry by volunteering with the Canadian government as an electrical engineering intern, where she travelled to Peru to help improve their water treatment infrastructure. 

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Wholesale SalesWholesale sales rose 0.6% to $64.1 billion in June, partly offsetting the 1.9% decline in May. Sales were up in four of seven subsectors, representing 54% of total wholesale sales.

In dollar terms, two subsectors — miscellaneous, and machinery, equipment and supplies — contributed the most to the increase in June, while the motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories subsector posted the largest decline.




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Investment In Building ConstructionTotal investment in building construction decreased 0.9% in June to $15.1 billion, the first decline in eight months. A slight increase in non-residential investment (+1.0% to $4.8 billion) was offset by a decrease in the residential sector (-1.8% to $10.3 billion). On a constant dollar basis (2012=100), investment in building construction decreased 1.1% to $12.7 billion. Despite the monthly decrease, total investment grew 1.6% year over year in the second quarter.




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Changing Scene

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ImarkDuring the recently held IMARK Canada 2019 meeting in Niagara Falls, executives from 14 of the leading manufacturers in the Canadian electrical and lighting industry participated in the IMARK Canada Product Stampede on September 13th.

Select manufacturer executives had precisely five minutes to present a key product with superior growth potential to the members of IMARK Canada. Distributor member executives then rated each supplier based on the quality of the presentation and the perceived sales potential of the product being demonstrated.


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Endress+HauserEndress+Hauser has broken ground for its new $28 million Customer Experience Centre for Central and Eastern Canada. When construction of the approximately 47,000 sq ft facility in Burlington is completed late next year, it will provide customers from Manitoba to Atlantic Canada with a generously equipped, state-of-the-art training and support hub for selecting and familiarizing themselves with the company’s latest innovations for process automation.

Last week’s official groundbreaking included a traditional Land Acknowledgment Ceremony performed by Chief R. Stacey Laforme of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nations.


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Ariel Technology Inc.Heritage Sales and Marketing Group was created in late 2015 by Jack Eva, the former owner and operator of Electra Supply Inc., a four-branch independent distributor in South Western Ontario, which he sold in 2012 to the Franklin Empire organization based in Quebec Canada. Heritage Sales is an active member at Electro Federation Canada (EFC) & Canadian Electrical Manufacturers’ Representatives Association (CEMRA).




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Peers & Profiles

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Jon Llewellyn is the Branch Manager City Electric Supply’s Nanaimo, BC location. “I've worn many ...
Stephanie Medeiros leads ABB Canada’s Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure team, as well as ...
Earlier this month Canadian Electrical Wholesaler had the pleasure of tabling a few questions to ...
Canadian Electrical Wholesaler was able to catch up with Sonepar Canada’s Stacey Corley, which was ...
OmniCable was founded in 1977 by partners with deep experience in the US electrical marketplace. ...
On a regular basis, our publications profile members of our industry through their responses to a ...
First and foremost, sitting down with Susan Uthayakumar feels more like sitting down and conversing ...
Sales of electrical supplies from full-line electrical distributors capture the geographic ...
Laura Dempsey has been working as an outside sales representative for E.B. Horsman & Son for ...
Michael Gentile, President and CEO of Philips Lighting Canada, has had a long and distinguished ...


Lori BagazzoliBy Blake Marchand

Lori Bagazzoli, Regional Sales Manager for Viscor, is a 20-year industry veteran that has built an interesting career from the bottom up. Beginning as a 19-year old just out of college in customer service with EXM, she gained an intimate knowledge of the electrical and lighting supply business by working her way through various organizational levels.

“I was definitely able to learn the different roles, and understand all the different aspects of the business,” she said, “starting so young, I really had to put in my time to be able to move up.”


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Louis BeaulieuBy Line Goyette

Neither a Millennial nor a Baby Boomer, Louis Beaulieu embraces new technologies and new markets, but remains faithful to family traditions. He holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and a master’s degree in management from Laval University and is the General Manager of Ouellet Canada. A perfect profile for a career in the family business.

When I ask him if, as is often the case in a family business, he had always known that he was going to join the company, he replied, “Not at all. When I was young, I spent my school holidays at my older brother’s farm at Ile d’Orléans.

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Looking Back

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The best memory I keep from CEDA is the way that they accepted me when I came into the business. ...
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Prior to the late 1950s there was little if any involvement in CEDA by the so-called “national ...
  As 2017 marks the 150th anniversary of Confederation, we take a look back at an aspect of ...

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