Should I use 'upward trend' or 'increasing trend' in this sentence?

  1. There has been an upward trend in expenditure over the last 36 year by 20-30%.
  2. There has also been the increasing trend in expenditure over the last 36 year by 20-30%.
  • You should say "expenditures" since they are (usually) multiple spending events.
    – user3169
    Mar 31 '14 at 1:14
  • Also, 'years' rather than 'year' as there is more than one year.
    – Sepia
    Mar 31 '14 at 2:58

If you are describing a graph, it’s a bit odd that the period of time is a specific figure (36 years) and the percentage increase a general spread, unless the increase is appearing in multiple entities.

I prefer ‘upward trend’ here for some reason, but you could reword in different ways.

There has been an upward trend in expenditures of 20-30% over the last 36 years.

Expenditures have tended to increase over time, so that they are currently 20-30% higher than 36 years ago.

  • 3
    "For some reason" might be that "increasing trend" means the trend itself is increasing, meaning it gets stronger. Your second example alternative shows quite nicely that you want to apply the increase to the expenditures, not to to trend :)
    – oerkelens
    Apr 7 '14 at 8:24
  • 1
    @oerkelens That’s right, thanks. The language of statistics is quite challenging, isn’t it?
    – neubau
    Apr 7 '14 at 12:34

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