# How to say that numbers are not accurate

Let's say there is a graph showing that the prices on coffee are going to grow with 5,00% anually. How can I specify that the growth might as well be 4,70% or 5,10%?

• It would help to see a sample sentence. Do you mean something like "The growth is ___ 5%" or more like "We ___ the growth numbers into integer percentages"? – Lawrence Jul 16 '18 at 13:22

Let's say there is a graph showing that the prices on coffee are going to grow with 5,00% anually. How can I specify that the growth might as well be 4,70% or 5,10%?

It would help to know how you reached your figure of 5%.

If this is an average or mean figure then you could state:

I expect the price of coffee to grow an average of 5% annually.

Or, if it isn't strictly a mathematical average, say for example it is a median figure (technically another kind of average, but perhaps not as widely understood) or you have estimated it based on some actual past growth figures, you could say:

I estimate that the price of coffee will grow 5% annually.

Another way of expressing this:

The price of coffee is expected to grow an estimated 5% annually.

Estimates are more likely to require some qualification; that is you might want to give some hint at how you reached that estimate so that people trust it. You could say:

Based on growth in previous years it is estimated that the price of coffee will continue to grow 5% annually.

Another useful word is approximation. This means a value is nearly but not exactly correct.

You might say:

The price of coffee is expected to grow approximately 5% annually.

• Very minor criticism of a good answer. "Approximately" has more than one meaning. Informally, it does not preclude exactness. Saying that someone has an annual income of "approximately one hundred thousand" does not imply a certainty that the person does not have that exact income. It implies a lack of knowledge about the exact figure. And I like your points about estimates; wish I had mentioned them in my answer. – Jeff Morrow Jul 16 '18 at 13:39
• @JeffMorrow Interesting point, but by the same token an estimate can turn out to be correct. Saying something is an estimate, or an average does not mean it will not turn out to be the actual value. The word is used to describe how you reached that figure. – Astralbee Jul 16 '18 at 14:32
• Astralbee I fully agree that an estimate may be exact. I did not mean to imply otherwise. My point is that the errors in many approximations may be exactly bounded 0 < |pi - 3.14| < 0.01. Estimates frequently are not so bounded. That is why your point that disclosure of the basis of estimatation is useful is such a good point. – Jeff Morrow Jul 16 '18 at 16:16

There are several ways.