Calculate percentage increase with Excel

A very common calculation with Excel is the percentage increase between 2 values. This calculation is very simple and doesn't expect specific Excel function.

Context to calculate percentage increase

Let's say you have the amount of your sales for each month.

The values looks OK but you want to calculate the percentage of increase (or decrease) between each month.

 

 

Method to calculate the percentage

Make a subtraction

The fist thing we have to do is the difference between 2 months. The formula is very simple

=B3-B2

And then, you copy for the other cells with the fill-handle

If you are not familiar with Excel, you have to know that Excel automatically change the references of the cells when you do the action to copy a formula.

In our example that's perfect for our need but you can lock the reference as well. If you are interested, have a look at the technique in this article.

Make the division

On the first column, we have calculated the gap between each month.

Now we just have to calculate what represent this difference compare to the sales of January. The formula is just the result of the difference divide by the amount of the sales

=C3/B2

The result is 31.9%. So our sales of February are 31.9% higher than the sales of January (Hey ! Good job 😃😍)

Formula is one column

In Maths, addition and subtraction have a lower priority than multiplication and division. And of course, Excel respect the maths rules.

So, to write the same result with only one formula, you must write the subtraction with parenthesis.

=(B3-B2)/B2

And the result is obviously the same 😉

Percentage Increase Excel

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