In economics, economic output is divided into physical goods and intangible services. Consumption of goods and services is assumed to produce utility.


A good is a product that can be used to satisfy some desire or need. A good is any object that increases the utility of the consumer/ product directly or indirectly. Goods are physical objects that are touchable.

More narrowly but commonly, a good is a tangible physical product that can be contrasted with a service which is intangible. As such, it is capable of being delivered to a purchaser and involves the transfer of ownership from seller to customer. For example, an apple is a tangible good, as opposed to a haircut, which is an (intangible) service. 

Scarce goods are goods that are only available to a limited number.

E.g. a new model of a certain car is a touchable object, if it is only available to a limited number, it is a scarce good.


A service is the intangible equivalent of an economic good. Services are not touchable. Service provision is often an economic activity where the buyer does not generally, except by exclusive contract, obtain exclusive ownership of the purchased object. 

The benefits of such a service, if priced, are held to be self-evident in the buyers willingness to pay for it. Public services are those society pays for as a whole through taxes and other means.

Examples for services are services provided by tax consultants, hairdressers, waiters, doctors etc.   

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