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Math Help - How to Work out a % variance for negative numbers

  1. #1
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    How to Work out a % variance for negative numbers

    Hi, I know that the following question is probably very simple to you guys and girls but it is causing me a bit of trouble.
    I am preparing budget to actual varinances as a % these are very simple when both number are positive, but I am struggling to know what formula I need to use to work out if the numbers are negative for example if I had a budgeted loss of -10,000 but actually made a loss of -5,000 the percentage will tell me that % performance of the unit was only 50% but actually they were better than they budgeted for?
    If i had a budget of 5000 and and actual of 10,000 then the % perfomance is above 100 so would assume that a negative equivilant would be the same?
    Can anyone help as I seem to be confusing myself the more I think about it?
    Regards
    Martin
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  2. #2
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    Re: How to Work out a % variance for negative numbers

    The variance is the average of (x- \overline{x})^2, where \overline{x} is the mean. It really doesn't matter whether the numbers are positive or negative.
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