Sectors & Industries - Business Cycle

Business Cycle Analysis Provided by Fidelity Investments

Slow global growth, lower oil prices, and the stronger dollar are reinforcing the low-inflation, moderate-growth mid-cycle phase in the U.S. Read Fidelity's latest business cycle update for details.

This chart indicates the current business cycle of the U.S. economy based on Fidelity's analysis of historical trends. The business cycle has four phases that reflect fluctuations in the economy, and each phase may have an effect on sector performance.


Inflationary Pressures Key
Show business cycle details Early Mid Late Recession
Business cycle graph Relative Performance Gradient bar


Note: This is a hypothetical illustration of a typical business cycle. There is not always a chronological progression in this order, and there have been cycles when the economy has skipped a phase or retraced an earlier one. Economically sensitive assets include stocks and high-yield corporate bonds, while less economically sensitive assets include Treasury bonds and cash. Please see the latest business cycle update for a complete discussion.

Sector Performance by Business Cycle Phase

The table below shows how sectors have tended to perform in each stage of the business cycle. For more information on sector performance patterns, read The Business Cycle Approach to Sector Investing (PDF).

Sector Sorted in ascending order. Click to reverse. Early  Mid  Late  Recession 
Consumer Discretionary Overperform Underperform Underperform
Consumer Staples Overperform Overperform
Energy Underperform Overperform
Financials Overperform
Health Care Overperform Overperform
Industrials Overperform Overperform Underperform
Information Technology Overperform Overperform Underperform Underperform
Materials Overperform Underperform Overperform
Telecommunication Services Underperform Overperform
Utilities Underperform Underperform Overperform Overperform
  • OverperformOverperform
  • UnderperformUnderperform
  • No Clear PatternNo clear pattern

Sectors and industries defined by Global Industry Classification Standards (GICS®).

Because of their narrow focus, sector funds tend to be more volatile than funds that diversify across many sectors and companies.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Investment decisions should be based on an individual's own goals, time horizon, and tolerance for risk.