By Paul Vieira

OTTAWA--Wholesale sales in Canada advanced in November at a slower-than-anticipated pace and volumes fell, as the auto component recorded its weakest showing in nearly two years.

Wholesale sales rose 0.2% on a seasonally-adjusted basis in November to 56.85 billion Canadian dollars ($42.66 billion), Statistics Canada said Monday. Expectations were for a 0.6% advance, according to economists at Royal Bank of Canada.

On a 12-month basis, wholesale trade advanced 2.6%.

In volume terms, November wholesale shipments fell 0.1%.

Meanwhile, October's data were revised upward, and now indicate sales rose 1.3%, versus the original estimate of a 1.1% advance.

Wholesale trade is the largest component of Canada's services sector -- whichin turn accounts for two-thirds of the country's economic output. Wholesalers tend to move merchandise in large quantities to institutional, industrial and retail clients.

Weighing on wholesale trade in November was a 5.8% decline, to C$10.51 billion, in motor vehicle and parts, which marks the biggest month-over-month drop for the component since January, 2015. Excluding autos, wholesale sales rose 1.6% in November.

Offsetting the decline in autos were a 7.2% increase, to C$7.35 billion, in the catch-all miscellaneous sector, and a 3.8% gain, to C$7.91 billion, in building materials.

Wholesale inventories rose 0.2% to C$73.34 billion, and 0.8% on a 12-month basis.

Write to Paul Vieira at paul.vieira@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 23, 2017 08:45 ET (13:45 GMT)

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