Last edited 18 Apr 2022

Unforeseen obsolescence

The glossary of statistical terms, published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), defines unforeseen obsolescence or abnormal obsolescence as: ‘…the loss in value on an asset due to a fall in demand for that type of asset that could not have been foreseen when the asset was acquired. Unforeseen obsolescence may occur because of a new invention or discovery which destroys the market for the asset or because a shift in relative prices makes it uneconomical to continue using the asset."

See also: Abnormal obsolescence.

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