Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

Oct 31, 2019

GDP Rise AugustReal gross domestic product edged up 0.1% in August, following no change in July. Goods-producing industries were up 0.2% after two months of declines, led by a rebound in manufacturing, while services-producing industries edged up 0.1%. Overall, there were gains in 14 out of 20 industrial sectors.

On a three-month rolling average basis, real gross domestic product rose 0.5% in August, compared with a 0.8% increase in July.

Manufacturing resumes expansion

The manufacturing sector grew 0.5% in August, following essentially no growth in July. Durable manufacturing rose 1.0%, while non-durable manufacturing declined 0.2%. The rise in manufacturing production was primarily due to increased sales, as the inventory-to-sales ratio declined in August according to the Monthly Survey of Manufacturing.

The rise in durable manufacturing partly offset the declines of the previous two months, with 6 of 10 subsectors expanding. Fabricated metal product manufacturing (+5.9%) and non-metallic mineral product manufacturing (+5.3%) contributed the most to the growth, reflecting in part higher international demand for these products. For the first time since January 2012, transportation equipment manufacturing (+1.0%) was up for the fourth month in a row, with growth in aerospace products and parts, other transportation equipment and motor vehicle body and trailer manufacturing.

The decline in non-durable manufacturing was widespread as six of nine subsectors were down, led by a 1.5% decline in food manufacturing. The largest increase in terms of output came from plastic and rubber products (+2.5%).

Professional services keep growing

The professional, scientific and technical services sector was up 0.7%, continuing its uninterrupted growth since February 2018. It is the sector with the second-largest growth in employment since the beginning of 2019 and accounts for about 6% of both gross domestic product and employment. The majority of the sector's industries were up in August, led by computer systems design and related services (+1.3%).

Legal, accounting and related services grew 0.8%, reflecting in part a 1.8% increase in the activity at offices of real estate agents and brokers. Housing resale activity was up in the majority of Canadian urban markets.

Finance and insurance expands

The finance and insurance sector expanded 0.5% in August, rising for the fourth month in a row, led by a 2.9% growth in financial investment services. The S&P/TSX Composite Index volatility contributed to the highest volume of transactions in August since 2012, as global trade tensions affected markets throughout the month. Depository credit intermediation and monetary authorities expanded 0.3%, while insurance carriers and related activities were down 0.2%.

Construction growth resumes

The construction sector was up 0.3% in August, the third increase in four months. Residential construction rose 0.6%, offsetting July's decline, as growth in single-unit and multi-unit dwellings more than offset a decline in home alterations and improvements. Non-residential construction (+0.2%) was up for the eighth time in nine months as activity in the commercial, industrial and public sectors increased. Engineering and other construction increased 0.2%, while repair construction edged down 0.1%.

Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction edges up

Following a 3.6% decline in July, the mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction sector edged up 0.1% in August.

Support activities for mining and oil and gas extraction rose 8.6% in August, following a 13.1% drop in July, as all types of supporting activities rebounded.

Oil and gas extraction was down for the third time in four months, contracting 1.6% in August. Oil sands extraction (-3.6%) was down for a fourth consecutive month, in part due to maintenance shutdowns at some facilities. Oil and gas extraction (excluding oil sands) edged up 0.3% as growth in natural gas extraction more than offset lower crude petroleum extraction, resulting in part from continued production disruptions at some offshore facilities in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Mining and quarrying (except oil and gas) edged down 0.2% as the majority of the industries contracted. Metal ore mining was down 1.7% in August, continuing its sequence of increases alternating with declines since February, as all industries were down except for iron ore mining (+5.4%). Coal mining declined 5.0% in August, fully offsetting July's growth. Non-metallic mineral mining rose 2.5% in August, as a result of growth in potash mining (+5.1%), which increased for the fourth time in five months following three monthly declines in the first quarter of 2019. 

Wholesale decline more than offsets July’s growth

Wholesale trade was down 1.3% in August, more than offsetting July's growth. The declines were broad-based as six of nine subsectors contracted. Machinery, equipment and supplies wholesalers (-2.7%) posted a third decline in four months, partly due to a decrease in imports of related products. Personal and household goods wholesaling decreased 3.8%, following record-high imports of pharmaceutical products from Germany and Switzerland in July. Building materials and supplies wholesalers (+1.6%) registered their fifth gain in six months after declines in the second half of 2018 and the first quarter of 2019.

Other industries

Utilities were down 1.5% in August. Electric power generation, transmission and distribution decreased 1.8% as many parts of the country experienced cooler than seasonal temperatures in August, resulting in lower demand for air conditioning.

The retail trade sector was up 0.3%, growing for the third month in a row after showing little upward movement since the end of 2018. Gasoline stations posted a 2.4% gain in August, in one of the peak demand months for motor gasoline. All types of retailers associated with back-to-school shopping registered increases, led by general merchandise stores (+1.8%).

The transportation and warehousing sector edged up 0.1% in August, following two months of decline. Increases in most subsectors more than offset a 0.6% decrease in air transportation, the third in four months and the largest since December 2018. Pipeline transportation edged up 0.2% as higher movement of natural gas was partly offset by lower movement of crude oil and other pipeline transportation. Rail transportation edged up 0.2% after declines in June and July.

Source: Statistics Canada,


SignifyThe electrical and lighting industries were shocked this week with the announcement that Signify purchased the recently renamed Cooper Lighting Solutions from Eaton.

The former Eaton Lighting division was scheduled to be spun off from Eaton via an IPO late this year / early next year.  While rumored earlier this year to be up for sale, rather than being spun off, there were no takers for the business. Although, it was reportedly considered by some.  According to Signify, discussions with Cooper Lighting, and Eaton, began a month ago. The interest could have been provoked by the Q3 slowdown in the lighting market with Signify sensing an opportunity to make an acquisition, perhaps at a discount.

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Rick McCartenBy Rick McCarten

For a long time now, many experts have been pointing out how companies should be expanding their service offerings beyond their product sales. Companies are wrapping services around their product and packaging — everything from special deliveries, warranties, repair and technical assistance to 24-hour service. This “servic-ization” helps differentiate companies from their competitors. How big is this going to get? Some reports have this trend becoming the core of our future economy.


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Carol McGloganBy Line Goyette

With Industry 4.0 on our doorstep, we are facing significant technological and resource changes, some of which question our industry’s core values. Artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, digitization, transport electrification, diversity and inclusion are among the inescapable changes that will affect our industry head on, both in its best practices and its business models. We have several advantages to help us deal with the changes, including an unwavering advocate for our industry: Carol McGlogan. She is the first woman to hold the position of Electro-Federation Canada’s (EFC) President and CEO. 

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CEW IDEAL Nationals 400

The IDEAL Nationals are underway with an 18 member Canadian Team supported by the IDEAL Industries Canada crew. This year over 55,000 electrical contractors and electricians competed worldwide so this is the cream of the crop competing here in Orlando .

The 2019 IDEAL National Championship is a highly charged, no-holds barred competition to determine the best electrician in North America and includes teams from China, Australia and Mexico.

To make it to Orlando, contractors have to qualify first and numerous qualifying events were held throughout Canada.

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GDP Rose 0.1 PercentReal gross domestic product edged up 0.1% in August, following no change in July. Goods-producing industries were up 0.2% after two months of declines, led by a rebound in manufacturing, while services-producing industries edged up 0.1%. Overall, there were gains in 14 out of 20 industrial sectors.

On a three-month rolling average basis, real gross domestic product rose 0.5% in August, compared with a 0.8% increase in July.




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Changing Scene

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ABB presented its electrification solutions that will allow customers to take full advantage of the ...
AD reported a 13% increase in member sales across its 12 divisions, totaling $35 billion in the ...
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  It is with a heavy heart that Stelpro has announced the passing of Mr. John Chabot, ...
  OmniCable would like to thank the electrical distributors and industry partners who ...
WESCO has announced the appointment of Nelson Squires as its Senior Vice President and Chief ...
A Friday night, the end of summer, the weather is mild, and 2,500 people — customers, suppliers, ...
Sonepar Canada has announced the launch of new mobile applications for Gescan Vallen, Sesco and ...
From September 11th to 13th, close to 150 senior executives from IMARK Canada member distributors ...
The electrical market continues to change and NEMRA is preparing its members to meet the challenge. ...

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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OmnicableOmniCable would like to thank the electrical distributors and industry partners who attended OmniCable Toronto’s open house on October 23, 2019. OmniCable opened its Toronto branch back in April 2019. Toronto is OmniCable’s first branch outside of the United States. The Toronto facility, which is approximately 50,000 square feet, is OmniCable’s 13th branch and services electrical distributors throughout Canada.

During the open house, attendees toured the facility, met OmniCable Canada and US teams, enjoyed light refreshments, and walked away with giveaways.


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Ilsco and Adanac SalesILSCO Canada has announced the appointment of Adanac Sales as agency of representation for the ILSCO brand in the province of British Columbia.

This partnership exemplifies ILSCO’s dedication to collaborate with companies that share ILSCO’s commitment to providing excellent products and service to the electrical industry in British Columbia.




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ABBTotal orders -1%1, order backlog +3%

  • Steady revenues and book-to-bill2
  • Operational EBITA margin2 11.7%, +20 basis points; impacted 70 basis points by stranded costs
  • Income from continuing operations, net of tax $422 million, -1%
  • Net income $515 million, -15%
  • Operational EPS2 $0.33, -7%3
  • Cash flow from operating activities $670 million, +19%, solid cash delivery expected for the full year
  • Björn Rosengren appointed Chief Executive Officer, effective March 1, 2020



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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 ...


Stephanie MedeirosBy Blake Marchand

For Stephanie Medeiros, this is an exciting time for Canada’s electric vehicle industry because it is approaching a tipping point. “One or two percent of vehicles in Canada are electric, but you’re going to see this change rapidly. There are different factors that come with that, but to make it a reality you need to have a charging infrastructure in place. One of the factors involved with that is establishing standards for charging, as well as settling on a uniform method for charging — ultimately, constructing a landscape that closely resembles that of internal combustion.”


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City Electric Supply - Jon LlewellynJon Llewellyn is the Branch Manager City Electric Supply’s Nanaimo, BC location. “I've worn many hats within this great organization,” Llewellyn told Canadian Electrical Wholesaler. Beginning as a Van Driver, Jon worked his way through several different positions at City Electric Supply after a 10-year career in the trades as a Drywaller. Starting as a driver, Llewellyn would move into the warehouse, and on into Inside Sales, which would turn into an Account Manager position before he would land in his current role as Branch Manager. The ability to learn on the job is an essential skill in an evolving industry, particularly one that is heavily technical. Something Llewellyn has certainly embraced.

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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. ...
In the 1930s to 1940s, CEDA’s Western Canada membership was very stable with old line independent ...
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 ...

Copper $US Dollar price per pound

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