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Consumer goods are products manufactured and sold for final consumption.  The purchaser will not resell these goods; rather, the purchaser will consume or use them in his daily life.  Examples of consumer goods include food, appliances, automobiles, and clothes.

Let’s break it down: A bicycle is a consumer good.  The aluminum, steel, or titanium alloys that go into making the bicycle frame are considered raw materials.  If the bicycle manufacturer purchases the tires from a third party, those tires are intermediate goods. 

The breakdown of consumer goods is important in measuring gross domestic product. Making distinctions between consumer goods, intermediate goods, and raw materials prevents the double counting of consumption and purchases that would otherwise create an overestimation of GDP.

For other economic analysis, a distinction is made between durable and non-durable consumer goods.  Non-durable consumer goods are items that are consumed immediately or have a life span of less than three years.  Examples are food, motor oil, clothes, and some leisure products such as golf balls.  In addition, services are considered a unique subset of non-durable goods.

Durable consumer goods are any items that have a life span over three years.  Examples include furniture, appliances and automobiles.

Many non-durable goods are essentials and consumers tend to buy them regardless of economic conditions.  Many – though not all -- durable goods are discretionary items.   The distinction is important because an increase in durable goods purchases indicates an uptick in consumer confidence, which may signal an increase in overall economic growth.

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