These industries could win on falling inflation

While policymakers in Europe and the U.S. are fretting about waning inflation rates, industries like telecoms and media could be gainers, in the opinion of Goldman Sachs.

In a research note circulated on Wednesday, analysts at the bank said that consumer and service-orientated sectors could benefit from disinflation.

Price reductions in Berlin, Germany
Sean Gallup | Getty Images
Price reductions in Berlin, Germany

"While selling prices are under pressure, input costs are falling," said Goldman Sachs analysts led by Sharon Bell, in the report.

"For those companies selling to the consumer, or at least with some pricing power, the relative moves in pricing should be supportive."

The Bank of England warned on Wednesday that price growth in the U.K. was likely to fall below 1 percent over the next six months, amid "significant risks" to its inflation projections.

Meanwhile, official estimates suggest annualized inflation in the euro zone was only 0.4 percent in October. This was down from 0.7 percent a year ago, and far below the European Central Bank's target rate of close to 2.0 percent.

In the U.S., the consumer price index (CPI) increased by 1.7 percent on the previous 12 months in September, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Bell noted that historically, telecoms, media and health care companies have benefited when commodity and producer prices declined relative to the CPI.

"Consumer sectors have tended to gain historically," she said. "This may seem counterintuitive as they are not known to have high commodity inputs, but they gain from not requiring higher commodity inflation to set their prices, and from the real income boost to consumers."

At present, prices for imported raw material into Europe are declining by 4-7 percent, according to Goldman. Oil prices have fallen sharply this year and metals have also declined.

Read MoreTrack oil prices

Perhaps unsurprisingly, commodity-related sectors tend to perform poorly as prices fall, but so do sectors further up the supply chain such as chemicals and industrials.

European basic resources, industrial and chemical companies have all underperformed the pan-European STOXX 600 index this year, which has gained around 7.7 percent. The basic resources sub-index has declined by around 2.3 percent since the beginning of 2014 and industrials have fallen by around 4.4 percent.

For chemicals to outperform, Bell estimated that inflation would need to rise back above 1 percent—which Goldman forecasts will not happen in the euro area until the third quarter of next year.

"For chemicals and oil for example, which largely rely on marking-up commodity-related inputs, the performance as inflation has fallen has clearly deteriorated," she said.

Read MoreOPEC feeling pain as oil slides to new 4-year low

In contrast, the European health care index has jumped over 17 percent since the start of the year.

"The only time disinflationary pressures were notably worse than today was during the financial crisis, when the contraction in aggregate demand was far greater," Bell added.