Consumer Discretionary

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DEFINITION of 'Consumer Discretionary'

A sector of the economy that consists of businesses that sell nonessential goods and services. Companies in this sector include retailers, media companies, consumer services companies, consumer durables and apparel companies, and automobiles and components companies.

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BREAKING DOWN 'Consumer Discretionary'

It is possible to invest in all the consumer discretionary companies at once by purchasing shares of a consumer discretionary mutual fund or exchange-traded fund such as Vanguard's Consumer Discretionary ETF. This sector performs better when the economy is doing well. Consumer discretionary is the opposite of consumer staples, which consists of businesses that sell necessities like food and drugs.

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