The 10 Riskiest Industries in America
Many American industries are still in flux following the financial crisis.
In a new report, IBISWorld has identified ten of America's riskiest industries.
These industries do offer growth opportunities for investors, but are largely expected to decline the most between now and 2018.
We drew on the report to highlight both the risks and opportunities in each of the industries. We also highlighted the average annual revenue growth or decline for each of these industries over the next five years.
Recordable media manufacturing
2013 revenue: $3.87 billion
2018 revenue: $3.16 billion
There's a growing shift to digital media and online streaming which has hurt the recordable manufacturing industry. The risk level for this industry is 'very high' and revenue is expected to fall at an average annual rate of 3.9% over the next five years.
"Providing some light at the end of the tunnel is the film industry. Movie studios earn a significant profit on disc sales and, in turn, are working to popularize new formats. In particular, 3-D films require large data files that cannot be easily streamed through the internet."
2013 revenue: $3.67 billion
2018 revenue: $3.40 billion
The appliance repair industry faces its biggest competition from manufacturers that have warranties that cover repairs. Moreover, the lifespan of appliances is increasing as technology improve. The risk level for this industry is 'very high' and revenue is expected to fall at an average annual rate of 1.5% over the next five years.
But there are opportunities in the industry as "prices for appliances are forecast to outpace disposable income growth."
Leather tanning and finishing
2013 revenue: $1.84 billion
2018 revenue: $1.66 billion
"The primary factors affecting risk for US tanners are revenue volatility and high import activity. Low disposable incomes during the recession pushed consumers to reduce their spending, which flowed on as lower demand for leather goods."
The risk level for this industry is 'high' and revenue is expected to fall at an average annual rate of 1.9% over the next five years.
2013 revenue: $46.05 billion
2018 revenue: $51.29 billion
The industry's revenue is very dependent on crude oil and natural gas prices. As investment into natural gas pipelines and infrastructure rises, fuel dealers face more competition from natural gas companies. "Luckily, as the economic recovery picks up during the next five years, consistently rising fuel prices will be a boon to operators."
The risk level for this industry is 'high' and revenue is expected to rise at an average annual rate of 2.2% over the next five years.
2013 revenue: $507 billion
2018 revenue: $725 billion
"High regulation and increasing external competition make the Commercial Banking industry a risky one." Banks are now more limited in fees they can charge customers and the higher capital reserves are hurting their ability to generate profits.
But, over the next five years larger banks will attract more retail depositors using more services they have on offer and new technology will attract a younger clientele. The risk level for this industry is 'high' and revenue is expected to rise at an average annual rate of 7.4% over the next five years.
Major household appliance manufacturing
2013 revenue: $15.46 billion
2018 revenue: $17.72 billion
High cost of steel and plastic drive up prices of household appliances creating risks for the industry at a time when "consumer demand and incomes are still recovering." This has caused many to move manufacturing offshore and competition from imports is set to rise.
But a "rebounding housing market will spur industry growth." They also anticipate higher demand for energy-efficient appliances. The risk level for this industry is 'high' and revenue is expected to rise at an average annual rate of 2.8% over the next five years.
See also: Investors Are Their Own Worst Enemies
Business certification and industry schools
2013 revenue: $2.78 billion
2018 revenue: $2.08 billion
"This industry faces rising competition from junior colleges, trade schools and universities. Demand for industry schools has declined because more students are choosing degree programs to boost their chances in an increasingly competitive job market. Additionally, declining demand has caused operators to lower prices for courses, which has eaten into industry profit margins."
The risk level for this industry is 'high' and revenue is expected to fall at an average annual rate of 5.6% over the next five years. But there is opportunity for schools with online classes.
Gasoline and petroleum wholesaling
2013 revenue: $388.57 billion
2018 revenue: $439.53 billion
The gasoline and petroleum wholesaling industry's revenue faces risks from global crude oil prices. Geopolitics in the Middle East pose a risk, and a "legislative push for fuel efficiency, including higher miles per gallon required for cars and light trucks, will weaken domestic demand."
While the risk level for this industry is 'high,' their significance in the petroleum product supply chain should help revenue rise at an average annual rate of 2.5% over the next five years.
Apparel knitting mills
2013 revenue: $481.3 million
2018 revenue: $412.0 million
Most knitting actually occurs abroad while U.S. companies "focus on designing and branding." This leaves the companies open to competitive risks from overseas companies. The risk level for this industry is 'high' and revenue is expected to fall at an average annual rate of 3.1% over the next five years.
But there are some opportunities in this industry. "US mills that successfully switch to higher value-added activities will benefit from increasing revenue and profit. In particular, successful firms will carve out a niche in the market and fulfill rising demand for differentiated and high-quality knits as demand for apparel rebounds over the next five years. In addition, companies that can incorporate designing and marketing activities will be able to grab a larger piece of the pie."
2013 revenue: $33.37 billion
2018 revenue: $27.68 billion
Newspapers continue to face competition from digital media. And advertisers have fewer incentives to advertise in print publications because readers prefer real time information. "Despite declining overall readership, newspapers tend to attract a more affluent demographic, making advertisers reluctant to desert the industry altogether."
The risk level for this industry is 'high' and revenue is expected to fall at an average annual rate of 3.67% over the next five years.
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