How the Industries Stack Up
The Sectors, By Performance

(FORTUNE Magazine) - From bricks (homebuilders) to clicks (the Internet), a broad swath of the economy benefited from 3.5% growth. And people are betting on the future, too: Securities companies also had a strong year.

Fastest-growing industries

They're baaaaack: Internet companies, that is. But this isn't a return to the dot-com bubble--this time they're making real money, recording the highest rise in profits of any industry and the second-fastest growth in revenues.

Growth in Revenues

Growth in Profits1 Year

Growth in Profits 5 Years

Most profitable industries

The household sector isn't sexy, but it pays: It has the best long-term return on equity. For the FORTUNE 500 as a whole, this was a very good year: Return on equity is the second best since 1994 (after 1999, the bubble year).

Return on Revenues

Return on Assets

Return on Shareholders' Equity

Best investments

How do low interest rates feed into the economy? Just ask homebuilders. As interest rates rose this year, returns to investors in the homebuilding sector slipped. For a comparison, check out the five- and ten-year returns.

Total Return to Shareholders'*

1 Year

5 Years

10 Years

*Including capital gains or losses plus reinvested dividends. Top of page