Math in the News: Issue 90

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Published on February 7, 2014

Author: Media4Math

Source: slideshare.net

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In this issue of Math in the News we look at economic data around Valentine's Day purchases. We look at data in tables and graphs and try to account for trends in the data.

America’s Candy Crush Math in the News Issue 90

Valentine’s Day How do you plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day? Will you purchase cards, candies, flowers, and gifts? In this issue we’ll look at economic data from the National Retail Association (http://www.nrf.com).

Valentine’s Day The National Retail Federation predicts Americans will spend $17.3 billion this year for Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day Here is how this holiday has fared over the past few years. (Note: The Data for 2014 is an estimate.) Total Spent on Valentine's Day ($Billions) 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 16.9 17 14.7 14.1 15.7 17.6 18.6 17.3

Valentine’s Day Here is a graph of the data, which shows a consistent amount near $17 billion over the past few years. Valen ne's Day Spending ($Billions) 20 18 18.6 16.9 17.6 17 17.3 15.7 16 14.7 14.1 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014

Valentine’s Day Let’s look at four key data points in more detail: • Candy • Flowers • Jewelry • Cards

Valentine’s Day Here is a multiple line graph showing all four data sets. Let’s look at the individual graphs. Valentine's Day Spending ($Billions) 5 4.5 4 3.5 3 2.5 2 1.5 1 0.5 0 Candy Flowers Jewelry Cards 2010 1.18 1.691 2.952 0.81 2011 1.453 1.706 3.539 1.093 2012 1.512 1.88 4.123 0.966 2013 1.657 1.919 4.404 1.184 2014 1.394 1.936 3.947 1.029

Valentine’s Day Here is the line graph for Candy. Candy Purchases ($Billions) 1.8 1.6 1.4 1.2 1 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0 Candy 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 1.18 1.453 1.512 1.657 1.394

Valentine’s Day Here is the line graph for Flowers. Flower Purchases ($Billions) 2 1.95 1.9 1.85 1.8 1.75 1.7 1.65 1.6 1.55 Flowers 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 1.691 1.706 1.88 1.919 1.936

Valentine’s Day Here is the line graph for Jewelry. Jewelry Purchases ($Billions) 5 4.5 4 3.5 3 2.5 2 1.5 1 0.5 0 Jewelry 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2.952 3.539 4.123 4.404 3.947

Valentine’s Day Here is the line graph for Cards. Card Purchases ($Billions) 1.4 1.2 1 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0 Cards 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 0.81 1.093 0.966 1.184 1.029

Valentine’s Day Candy, Jewelry, and Cards all show a drop in spending. But Flowers show an increase. Valentine's Day Spending ($Billions) 5 4.5 4 3.5 3 2.5 2 1.5 1 0.5 0 Candy Flowers Jewelry Cards 2010 1.18 1.691 2.952 0.81 2011 1.453 1.706 3.539 1.093 2012 1.512 1.88 4.123 0.966 2013 1.657 1.919 4.404 1.184 2014 1.394 1.936 3.947 1.029

Valentine’s Day • Why would Flower purchases show a steady increase, while the others showed a decrease? • Why would Candy sales show a decline? Why would people be buying less candy? • Why would Jewelry sales show a decline? What would this say about the state of the economy?

Valentine’s Day • Now that you have seen the data for spending on Valentine’s Day, is your anticipated spending consistent with these results? • What factors affect how much you spend and what you spend it on? • Conduct a survey in your class to see how much your classmates plan to spend.

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