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18 Examples of Consumer Discretionary

 , December 23, 2018 updated on April 25, 2023
Consumer discretionary is a category of products and services that are purchased by consumers out of choice as opposed to need. This also includes goods where a purchase can easily be delayed by a consumer if they feel less confident about their financial position. Firms that sell consumer discretionary are particularly exposed to the business cycle as their revenue can fall during a recession and surge during an economic expansion. The following are illustrative examples of consumer discretionary goods.


Clothing and related accessories. Clothing is a basic need but people overspend on fashion when the economy is good and cut back during a recession.


Retailers that sell any type of consumer discretionary good. This can be contrasted with retailers that sell consumer staples such as food that are relatively unaffected by economic conditions.


Ecommerce retailers that sell consumer discretionary goods.

Luxury Goods

Consumer goods that command a high price due to superior quality or social status.


Automobiles sales are sensitive to the business cycle and interest rates.

Consumer Durables

Anything sold to consumers that lasts a long time such that purchases can be easily deferred. For example, a toaster.

Home Improvement

Home improvement items such as paint or windows.

Home Furnishings

Furniture and fixtures such as a couch or a ceiling light.


Housewares such as pots and pans.

Homebuilding & Renovation

The construction of new homes and renovation of existing homes.


Travel such as flights, hotels and attractions.

Leisure Facilities

Leisure related facilities such as a ski hill.

Leisure Products

Leisure related products such as a surfboard.


Shoes are essential but people overspend on them in the good times resulting in sales declines in a recession.


Consumer electronics such as a mobile phone.

Media & Publishing

Media such as movies and publishing such as books.

Arts & Entertainment

Arts and entertainment such as a museum or theatre.


Advertising is impacted by a cutback in consumer spending and therefore behaves like a consumer discretionary good.
Overview: Consumer Discretionary
Definition (1)
A category of products and services that are purchased by consumers out of choice as opposed to need.
Definition (2)
Consumer goods that are sensitive to the business cycle and consumer confidence.
Also Known As
Consumer Cyclical
Related Concepts


This is the complete list of articles we have written about goods.
Brown Goods
Business Goods
Capital Goods
Club Goods
Common Goods
Common Resources
Complementary Goods
Consumer Discretionary
Consumer Durables
Consumer Goods
Consumer Products
Consumer Staples
Digital Goods
Durable Goods
Economic Goods
Experience Goods
Fashion Goods
Final Goods
Finished Goods
Goods & Services
Inferior Good
Information Good
Intangible Goods
Intermediate Goods
Knowledge Product
Luxury Goods
Market Goods
Merit Good
Natural Resources
Necessity Goods
Perfect Substitute
Public Goods
Search Good
Social Goods
Soft Goods
Sporting Goods
Substitute Good
Superior Goods
Unsought Goods
Veblen Goods
Virtual Goods
White Goods
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