DEFINITION of 'Declining Industry'
An industry where growth is either negative or is not growing at the broader rate of economic growth. There are many reasons for a declining industry: consumer demand may be steadily evaporating, the depletion of a natural resource may be occurring, or there may be the emergent substitutes because of technological innovation.
BREAKING DOWN 'Declining Industry'
An example of a declining industry is the railroad industry, which has experienced decreased demand - largely due to newer and faster means of transporting goods (primarily air transport and trucking) - and has failed to remain competitive in pricing, at least in relation to the benefits of faster and more efficient transport provided by airlines and trucking services.