Industry vs. Sector: An Overview

Although they may seem the same, the terms industry and sector have slightly different meanings. Industry refers to a much more specific group of companies or businesses, while the term sector describes a large segment of the economy.

The terms industry and sector are often used interchangeably to describe a group of companies that operate in the same segment of the economy or share a similar business type. The term sector often refers to a larger, general part of the economy, while the word industry is much more specific.

These two terms are sometimes reversed. But the general idea remains: one breaks the economy down into a few general segments while the other further categorizes those into more specific business activities. In the stock market, the generally accepted terminology cites a sector as a broad classification and an industry as a more specific one.

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