OTTAWA - Statistics Canada says wholesale sales rose 1.1 per cent to $62.8 billion in March, led by the motor vehicle and parts subsector.

The agency says the increase more than offset a decline in February.

Four of seven subsectors climbed in March, while wholesale sales in volume terms rose 0.8 per cent.

The motor vehicle and parts subsector posted the largest gain in dollar terms as sales rose 5.0 per cent to $11.8 billion, following three consecutive monthly declines. Excluding the subsector, wholesale sales rose 0.2 per cent.

Meanwhile, the building material and supplies subsector increased 3.4 per cent to a record high $9.2 billion.

Sales in the food, beverage and tobacco subsector fell 1.4 per cent to $11.9 billion in March.