In general, the new classification structure will have fewer Industries and Industry groups and redefined sectors and super sectors, according to a press release.
Under the new global equity classification structure, Morningstar first maps companies into one of 148 Industries, based on their largest sources of revenue and income. The industries roll up into 69 industry groups based on their market characteristics. Industry groups fold into one of 11 sectors, including Basic Materials, Communication Services, Consumer Cyclical, Consumer Defensive, Energy, Financial Services, Health Care, Industrials, Real Estate, Technology, and Utilities.
The sectors finally roll up to one of three major economic spheres, or super sectors, which are Cyclical, Defensive, and Sensitive. The Super sectors indicate the degree to which macro-economic cycles affect sector groups.
More information about the methodology is available at http://corporate.morningstar.com/EquityClassifications.Morningstar said it will roll out the new classification structure in phases. All products will adopt the new Industry categories on October 15, 2010.