Industrial goods are made up of machinery, manufacturing plants and materials, and any other good or component used by other industries or firms. Consumer goods are ready for the consumption and satisfaction of human wants, such as clothing or food. Consumer goods are not used in the production of other goods, while industrial goods are.

Industrial Goods

Industrial goods are based on the demand for the consumer goods they help to produce. Industrial goods are classified as either production goods or support goods. Production goods are used in the production of a final consumer good or product, while support goods help in the production process of consumer goods, such as machinery and equipment.

Consumer Goods

Consumer goods, on the other hand, are tangible commodities produced and purchased to satisfy the wants of a buyer. Consumer goods are classified as durable goods, non-durable goods or consumer services.

Durable goods have a significant lifespan of three years or more. The consumption of a durable good is spread out over the entire life of the good, which causes demand for maintenance and upkeep. Bicycles, furniture and cars are examples of durable goods.

Non-durable goods are goods that are purchased for immediate consumption or use, and they have a lifespan that is less than three years. Food, beverages and clothing are examples of non-durable goods.

Consumer services are intangible products or services that are produced and consumed at the same time. Haircuts and car washes are typical examples of consumer services. (For related reading, see: Which economic factors most affect the demand for consumer goods?)