# What Is a Base Year? How It's Used in Analysis and Example

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## Definition of 'What Is a Base Year? How It's Used in Analysis and Example'

A base year is the starting point for a comparison of financial data. It is used to measure changes in the value of a currency, the performance of an investment, or the growth of a company.

The base year is typically the first year in a series of years for which data is available. The values for all other years are then expressed as a percentage of the base year. This makes it possible to compare the changes in value over time.

For example, if the value of a stock was \$100 in the base year and \$120 in the following year, the growth rate would be 20%. This means that the value of the stock increased by 20% over the two-year period.

Base years are used in a variety of financial analyses, including:

* Inflation: The base year is used to calculate the rate of inflation. Inflation is the increase in the prices of goods and services over time. The base year is used as a benchmark to compare the prices of goods and services in other years.
* Economic growth: The base year is used to calculate the rate of economic growth. Economic growth is the increase in the value of the economy over time. The base year is used as a benchmark to compare the value of the economy in other years.
* Investment performance: The base year is used to calculate the return on an investment. The return on an investment is the increase in the value of the investment over time. The base year is used as a benchmark to compare the return on the investment in other years.

Base years are important because they provide a common starting point for comparisons. This makes it possible to see how things have changed over time.

Here is an example of how a base year is used in an analysis. A company wants to compare its sales growth over the past five years. The company's sales were \$100 million in the base year, \$120 million in the following year, \$140 million in the third year, \$160 million in the fourth year, and \$180 million in the fifth year.

To calculate the growth rate for each year, the company divides the sales for that year by the sales in the base year and then multiplies the result by 100. The growth rates for each year are 20%, 20%, 20%, and 20%.

The company can then compare the growth rates to see how its sales have changed over time. The company's sales grew by 20% each year, so its sales have grown by a total of 100% over the five-year period.

Base years are an important tool for financial analysis. They provide a common starting point for comparisons and make it possible to see how things have changed over time.

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