Fortune 500

    The Fortune 500 is a list collated by the American Fortune magazine every year of the 500 biggest corporations in the US.

    Criteria for inclusion

    Companies included on the list may be either publicly listed on the stock markets or privately owned. The 500 companies are ranked according to their gross annual revenue for the previous year, adjusted for taxes.

    The Fortune 500 is a relatively stable ranking, listing most of the same companies from year to year with only minor changes that reflect mergers, takeovers or split-offs of the listed companies.

    Importance of the Fortune 500

    As the list ranks America’s top 500 blue-chip corporations, it is generally seen as an indicator of long-term economic trends in the US, for both the individual companies and collectively. Economists analyse increases (or decreases) in earnings, profits, assets and turnover of the 500 to determine boom and bust times. During periods of recession, the fortunes of the 500’s blue-chips may point to early signs of recovery, for example.