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Economic Calendar Terms

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The 'balance' is simply the difference between the weighted percentage of respondents replying 'more' or 'up' to each question minus the percentage replying 'less' or 'down'. This makes possible the use of a single number, with either a positive or negative value, to represent the answer to any question. Since most of the questions refer to changes in the level of a variable(e.g. what is the present position [i.e.compared to the same month a year ago] with regard to the volume of sales: answer 'up', 'same' or 'down'), the absolute value of the 'balance' will give a guide to the change in the variable concerned. For example, if in answer to the question on the volume of sales, 5 per cent had reported a fall over the past 12 months, 40 per cent no change and 55 per cent an increase, giving a balance of +50 per cent, this would clearly be likely to be reflected in an increase in sales volume. Balances near zero should usually be interpreted as suggesting little change. Similarly a negative balance would usually suggest a decline in the variable concerned. If a large negative balance in one survey (e.g. -50 per cent) is followed by a smaller negative balance in the next survey (say -25 per cent), then this should be interpreted as an indication of a reduction in the extent of the decline in the variable concerned and not as an actual