Consumer goods are goods that are manufactured and traded for private consumption. Unlike capital goods or raw materials, consumables and supplies provided for the production process, consumer goods serve primarily the private consumption. However, it only becomes apparent when the actual use of a good is whether it is finally consumed or enters into a production process as a means of work. This applies to high-quality goods, eg. vehicles, machinery, real estate, as well as for everyday consumer goods.
Consumer goods can be fuels, foodstuffs and medicines, but also durable consumer goods that are not consumed in the actual sense, but are subject to wear as a result of repeated use.
In Marx's social and value theory, consumer goods without using this term, are further distinguished in commodities and commodities. The former have only a utility value and are for their own use, goods, however, are in more developed societies specifically for trade or trade produced and have in addition to the utility value and an exchange value.
Depending on the needs of consumers and the forms of distribution in retail, consumer goods can be assigned to four large groups: 1. Everyday goods (convenience goods), 2. Goods of search and comparison purchases (shopping goods), 3. Special products and specialties (specialty goods), 4. Goods of the externally initiated purchase with low demand (unsought goods).
In the macro-economy, the demand for consumer goods a component of aggregate demand. In the context of economic policy influencing is demand for consumer goods is an important point of contention between the schools of thought of the supply and demand policy.