Consumables

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Consumables'

Goods used by individuals and businesses that must be replaced regularly because they wear out or are used up. Consumables can also be defined as the components of an end product that are used up or permanently altered in the process of manufacturing, such as semiconductor wafers and basic chemicals.


BREAKING DOWN 'Consumables'

Stocks of companies that make consumables are considered to be relative safe harbors for equity investors when the economy shows signs of weakness. The reasoning is simple: people will always need to purchase groceries, clothes and gas no matter what is going on in the broad economy.

Many of the items measured in the basket of goods used to calculate the Consumer Price Index (CPI) are consumables; inflation in these items is closely watched because it can lower the discretionary income people have to spend on items such as cars, vacations and entertainment.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Inflation

    The rate at which the general level of prices for goods and services ...
  2. Customer Service

    The process of ensuring customer satisfaction with a product ...
  3. Consumer Price Index - CPI

    A measure that examines the weighted average of prices of a basket ...
  4. Consumer Staples

    Essential products such as food, beverages, tobacco and household ...
  5. Discretionary Income

    The amount of an individual's income that is left for spending, ...
  6. Basket Of Goods

    A relatively fixed set of consumer products and services valued ...
Related Articles
  1. Markets

    Consumer Spending As A Market Indicator

    What people buy and where they shop can provide valuable information about the economy.
  2. Credit & Loans

    The Disposable Society: An Expensive Place To Live

    Resisting the trend toward consumption will boost your bottom line and bolster the environment.
  3. Options & Futures

    Cyclical Versus Non-Cyclical Stocks

    Investing during an economic downturn simply means changing your focus. Discover the benefits of defensive stocks.
  4. Economics

    Evaluating Grocery Store Stocks

    Retail grocers are no longer a homogeneous group selling products in the same manner. Find out how to evaluate these companies.
  5. Markets

    Trader Joe's Stock Doesn’t Exist. Here’s Why

    Learn about Trader Joe's and how it operates. Understand why Trader Joe's has chosen not to be a public company and why it should remain that way.
  6. Stock Analysis

    Is the Apple Watch a Real Threat to Fitbit?

    Examine the potential for marketplace competition between Fitbit and the Apple Watch in the rapidly growing consumer wearables industry.
  7. Investing News

    How 'Honesty' Could Pay off for Jessica Alba

    Is it possible that Jessica Alba is one of the savviest businesswomen on the planet?
  8. Stock Analysis

    3 Stocks to Protect Your Portfolio from Inflation

    Discover three stocks to protect portfolios against inflation. The best companies to protect against inflation are those with pricing power.
  9. Chart Advisor

    Invest In Consumer Staples With This ETF

    The consumer staples sector is showing signs of strength in a weak market. We'll take a look at a couple ways to make a trade.
  10. Stock Analysis

    J.C. Penney: Identity Crisis or Buy Opportunity?

    With so many recent leadership changes, J.C. Penney might be suffering from an identity crisis. Here's why and what you need to know.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What are the best mutual funds for investing in the aerospace sector?

    The only current mutual fund that is directly targeted to the aerospace and defense sector is the Fidelity Select Defense ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What does marginal utility tell us about consumer choice?

    In microeconomics, utility represents a way to relate the amount of goods consumed to the amount of happiness or satisfaction ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What are some common ways product differentiation is achieved?

    There are many ways to achieve product differentiation, some more common than others. Horizontal Differentiation Horizontal ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What is the difference between an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) and a VAR ...

    An original equipment manufacturer (OEM) is a company that manufactures a basic product or a component product, such as a ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Is the retail sector also affected by seasonal factors?

    Generally speaking, the retail sector is highly seasonal. Almost invariably, sales in the retail sector are highest in the ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What has the retail sector evolved to its current structure?

    Retail is the catch-all phrase for the sale of final goods to consumers; a retail transaction is considered an "end" and ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Alligator Spread

    An unprofitable spread that occurs as a result of large commissions charged on the transaction, regardless of favorable market ...
  2. Tiger Cub Economies

    The four Southeast Asian economies of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand. Tiger cub economy indicates that ...
  3. Gorilla

    A company that dominates an industry without having a complete monopoly. A gorilla firm has large control of the pricing ...
  4. Elephants

    Slang for large institutions that have the funds to make high volumes trades. Due to the large volumes of stock that elephants ...
  5. Widow's Exemption

    In general terms, a widow's exemption refers to the amount that can be deducted from taxable income by a widow, thereby reducing ...
  6. Wedding Warrant

    A warrant that can only be exercised if the host asset, typically a bond or preferred stock, is surrendered. Until the call ...
Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!