OTTAWA -- Statistics Canada says wholesale sales rose 0.3 per cent to $63.1 billion in December, led higher by gains in the motor vehicle and parts and the miscellaneous subsectors.

The increase for the final month of 2018 followed a decline of 1.1 per cent in November.

Economists had expected a contraction of 0.1 per cent in December, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.

Sales were up in four of the seven subsectors, representing about 64 per cent of total wholesale sales.

Sales in the motor vehicle and parts subsector were up 3.7 per cent, while the miscellaneous subsector rose 2.0 per cent.

Wholesale sales increased 0.3 per cent in volume terms.