Sectors & Industries - Business Cycle

Business Cycle Analysis Provided by Fidelity Investments

U.S. and Global Economies in Advanced Stages of the Cycle Business Cycle Outlook

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 Early Mid Late Recession
Consistently OverperformConsistently Overperform Consistently UnderperformConsistently Underperform No clear patternNo Clear Pattern
OverperformOverperform UnderperformUnderperform

*As of Aug. 31, 2016, real estate was elevated from an industry in the U.S. financials sector to the 11th sector per the Global Industry Classification Standard. Unshaded (white) portions above suggest no clear pattern of over- or underperformance vs. broader U.S. equity market. Double +/- signs indicate that the sector is showing a consistent signal across all three metrics: full-phase average performance, median monthly difference, and cycle hit rate. A single +/- indicates a mixed or less consistent signal. Source: Fidelity Investments (AART).

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.