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Outputs: Goods and services

The output of a business is goods and services. These are destined either for other firms or for the domestic consumer. Goods are solid items that can be seen and touched (tangible or visible items) such as shoes, food, cars, golf clubs, Manchester United or Barcelona football strips and beef burgers.

Services (invisible or intangible items) are things that cannot be seen or touched, but have visible results, such as services provided by hairdressers, doctors, dentists, solicitors, and banks. Customers pay for skill and experience that they do not possess, or would prefer to purchase to save time. Services can be split into personal or commercial (business) services, although there are often overlaps between the two. For instance, banks offer financial services to both individual and business customers.

The table below categorises types of goods or products:

Consumer products Producer products


(Fast Moving Consumer Goods) Items bought on a regular basis. Examples are food in a supermarket, papers and magazines etc. Each item has little value.


Items with a short life and little value. Examples would be raw materials, packaging, paper, lubricants etc.

Consumer durables

A good which lasts through many uses and has a long-term value. They are bought infrequently. Special items are:

  • White Goods - Kitchen goods such as washing machines, refrigerators etc.
  • Brown Goods - Entertainment items such as TV's, Smartphones and laptops.

Other examples are furniture, cars etc.

Capital goods

Plant and Equipment used to produce consumer goods. Examples are pumps and motors, filling machines and computers. Not intended for sale as they are the 'life blood' of the business.