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Fibs – lies – statistics. Well, not exactly. True enough, sometimes statistical charts can be complex. It is also good to know that a writer can choose between different types of statistical displays to convey his message. One thus needs to use common sense when looking at statistical graphs.

In this section you will learn to read statistical charts and to relate them to various economic turning points. You will also learn that the same set of statistical data can be used to create completely different charts.

When interpreting statistical graphs, you should first read the title or caption. A well-formulated caption tells exactly what the chart represents. You should then examine the horizontal and vertical scales – ie what the chart is intended to represent and the units in which the subject matter is described or whether the chart refers to a certain time period.