Industry classification or industry taxonomy is a type of economic taxonomy that organizes companies into industrial groupings based on similar production processes, similar products, or similar behavior in financial markets. Many are used by national and international statistical agencies to summarize economic conditions. They are also used by securities analysts to understand common forces acting on groups of companies, to compare companies' performance to their peers', and to construct either specialized or diversified portfolios.

Sectors and industries

Economic activities can be classified in a variety of ways. At the top level, they are often classified according to the three-sector theory into sectors: primary (extraction and agriculture), secondary (manufacturing), and tertiary (services). Some authors add quaternary (knowledge) or even quinary (culture and research) sectors. Over time, the fraction of a society's activities within each sector changes. Below the economic sectors are more detailed classifications. They commonly divide economic activities into industries according to similar functions and markets and identify businesses producing related products. Industries can also be identified by product, such as: construction industry, chemical industry, petroleum industry, automotive industry, electronic industry, power engineering and power manufacturing (such as gas or wind turbines), meatpacking industry, hospitality industry, food industry, fish industry, software industry, paper industry, entertainment industry, semiconductor industry, cultural industry, and poverty industry. Market-based classification systems such as the Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS), the Industry Classification Benchmark (ICB) and The Refinitiv Business Classification (TRBC) are used in finance and market research.

List of classifications

A wide variety of taxonomies is in use, sponsored by different organizations and based on different criteria. 1The NAICS Index File lists 19745 rubrics beyond the 6 digits which are not assigned codes.

See also

* Economic sector * Product classification


Further reading

* * * Bernard Guibert, Jean Laganier, and Michel Volle, "An Essay on Industrial Classifications", ''Économie et statistique'' 20 (February 1971
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