Examples of industries, that are observed by global business standards, include energy, transportation, insurance and real estate. Depending on the method of classification being observed, industry groups can be further grouped into sectors and, in the case of the Global Industry Classification Standard, have a subcode assigned to them for data and tracking purposes.
Industry groupings are commonly used by the global financial community, with a large portion following the GICS industrial taxonomy, which was developed by Standard & Poor's and MCSI. Watching trends within the industries can assist investors in determining investment potential. The GICS divides major public companies into 154 sub-industries, which are then grouped upwards to 68 industries, 24 industry groups and 10 sectors of business. The GICS classification system is similar to one that is followed by the Dow Jones Indexes called the Industry Classification Benchmark.
Industry classification methodology groups companies and stocks according to common business lines, each with their own standard for defining specific industry groups. A large majority of industry classification methods have between 150 to 200 industry groups within the system. A well-structured industrial group can serve as an accurate measure of a country's economy when measured by GDP.