How to define durable/non-durable good industries? For example, is the industry of Wholesale and retail trades defined as durable good industry? Thanks in advance.



Just to add on to the previous post.

According to the BEA (www.bea.gov): durable goods are tangible products that can be stored or inventoried and that have an average life of at least three years.

Non-durable goods are tangible products that can be stored or inventoried and that have an average life of less than three years.

The taxonomy of the order of industries that falls under this definition according to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) [which can be found here: https://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch?chart=2012 ] are as follows:


**Durable goods**                        NAICS code(s)
  Wood products                                  321
  Nonmetallic mineral products        327   
  Primary metals                               331  
  Fabricated metal products                  332    
  Machinery                                     333 
  Computer and electronic products                  334 
  Electrical equipment, appliances, and components  335 
  Motor vehicles, bodies and trailers, and parts    3361    
  Other transportation equipment                   3364 
  Furniture and related products                 337    
  Miscellaneous manufacturing                    339

**Nondurable goods**        
  Food and beverage and tobacco products    311 + 312   
  Textile mills and textile product mills   313 + 314   
  Apparel and leather and allied products   315 + 316   
  Paper products                             322    
  Printing and related support activities       323 
  Petroleum and coal products                 324   
  Chemical products                           325   
  Plastics and rubber products                  326 

To answer your question; the industry of Wholesale and retail trades does not fit into the NAICS definition of durable nor nondurable goods industries as they are manufacturing industries (industries engaged in the transformation of goods, materials or substances into new products)

Wholesale and retail trades falls under NAICS sector 42 thru 44 and 45 (www.census.gov/naics). These industries are engaged in sales of any type of goods and is the final step in the distribution supply chain of merchandise.

Wholesale is the resale of new and used goods to retailers, business-to-business trade or to other types of wholesalers.

Retail trade industry are industries that sells mostly to individuals and not businesses (but sometimes this happens at a smaller scale). Usually, retail refers to retail outlets where people shop.

Hope this helps.

Happy New Year!

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you very much! $\endgroup$ – Carl Jan 1 '20 at 17:50

The US BEA defines durable goods as those lasting three years or more:

PCE is classified by type of product as follows. Goods consist primarily of tangible commodities that can be stored or inventoried, but they also include certain intangible products, such as software. Durable goods are goods that have an average useful life of at least 3 years. Nondurable goods are goods that have an average useful life of less than 3 years. Services are commodities that cannot be stored or inventoried and that are usually consumed at the place and time of purchase. ... Durable goods [include]: motor vehicles and parts, furnishings and durable household equipment, recreational goods and vehicles, and other durable goods.


  • $\begingroup$ Thank you very much! $\endgroup$ – Carl Jan 1 '20 at 17:50
  • $\begingroup$ If this answers your question please accept this answer. $\endgroup$ – BKay Jan 1 '20 at 17:58
  • $\begingroup$ your welcome friend! $\endgroup$ – Mike J Jan 2 '20 at 15:26

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