What is the difference between consumer goods and industrial goods?


Quick Answer

The difference between industrial goods and consumer goods is that industrial goods are those necessary to produce consumer goods and services. Industrial goods are the tools and materials necessary to manufacture a good or provide a service to an end consumer, although they are also often used in the production of other industrial goods. Consumer goods are the end products of industry for the personal use of consumers, rather than the production of any further commercial goods.

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Full Answer

Industrial goods include the machines, tools and materials necessary for the production of further goods and services. These include such items as delivery trucks, machine lubricants and printing presses. Because each industrial good is usually used to produce several consumer goods, the market for industrial goods is much smaller than the market for consumer goods.

The demand for consumer goods also drives the demand for industrial goods, since the economic logic behind industrial goods is that they add value to raw materials, allowing them to be sold for more money than they cost. Everything a person purchases for personal use is a consumer good.

There is considerable overlap between consumer goods and industrial goods. Motor oil, for instance, is used in both personal vehicles and delivery vehicles.

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