Sales forecasts can be developed on the basis of past sales. Time-series analysis consists of breaking down past time series into four components (trend, cycle, seasonal, and erratic) and projecting these components into the future. Exponential smoothing consists of projecting the next period's sales by combining an average of past sales and the most recent sales, giving more weight to the latter. Statistical demand analysis consists of measuring the impact level of each of a set of causal factors (e.g., income, marketing expenditures, price) on the sales level. Finally, econometric analysis consists of building sets of equations that describe a system and proceeding to fit the parameters statistically.
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