OTTAWA -- Statistics Canada says wholesale sales rose 0.3 per cent in August to $70.3 billion, the first increase following two months of declines.

The agency says the gain came as sales of food, beverage and tobacco products rose 3.8 per cent in August to $13.1 billion to top March 2020 sales for the first time.

Sales in the building material and supplies subsector climbed 2.3 per cent higher to $11.4 billion.

Meanwhile, motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories sales fell 4.2 per cent in August to $10.3 billion due in part to the ongoing shortage of semiconductor chips.

Sales of machinery, equipment and supplies dropped 1.7 per cent to $14.4 billion.

Wholesale sales in constant dollar terms rose 0.3 per cent in August.