Statistics Explained

Glossary:Seasonal adjustment

Seasonal adjustment (or the adjustment of seasonal changes) is a statistical method for removing the effects of recurring seasonal influences which have been observed in the past from an economic time series, thus showing non-seasonal trends more clearly.

The level and direction of the seasonal effects depend on several factors such as the economic activity (e.g. the turnover of hotels typically increases during holidays, while the industrial production index develops more weakly during the summer). Seasonal effects vary between economies and countries (e.g. depending on which industries are particularly important in the economic structure) and between indicators.

Seasonal effects are one of the four main components that determine the development of economic indicators (apart from the general trend, cyclical effects and irregular components) and seasonal adjustment are a central element of time series analysis.

Related concepts