# percent, percentage point

- percent, percentage point
There is an important distinction between the two terms that is not always observed, even on the financial pages. Consider the following example from the business section of *The Times* of London. Headline: "U.S. tax reform to cut top rate by 25%." Story: "U.S. Senate and House officials have begun work on [a] tax reform bill which would cut the top rate for individuals from 50 percent to an estimated 25 percent." In short, the tax rate is to fall by half and not, as the headline suggests, by a quarter.

Put another way, if interest rates are 10 percent and they rise to 11 percent, they have risen by one percentage point but by 10 percent in value. In everyday contexts this difference in meaning may often be overlooked. Even in financial circles people routinely talk about a 2 percent rise in mortgage rates when strictly they mean a two-point rise. But in contexts in which the percentage rise is large and ambiguity is likely, the distinction can be critical.

Finally, note that in Britain and most other English-speaking countries the normal spelling is *per cent* (though *percentage* remains one word).

*Dictionary of troublesome word.
Bill Bryson.
2013.*

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**percent, percentage point** — There is an important distinction between the two terms that is not always observed, even on the financial pages. Consider the following example from the business section of The Times of London. Headline: U.S. tax reform to cut top rate by 25% … Dictionary of troublesome word

**percentage point** — ➔ point1 * * * percentage point UK US noun [C] ► ECONOMICS, FINANCE a unit of measure equal to one percent, used to refer to changes in interest rates: »Markets showed a slight recovery when the Federal Reserve cut short term interest rates by… … Financial and business terms

**percentage point** — percent, proportion of one hundred (one percentage point = one percent) … English contemporary dictionary

**percentage point** — noun Date: 1958 one hundredth of a whole ; percent < interest rates rose one percentage point from 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent > … New Collegiate Dictionary

**percentage point** — per centage ,point noun count one percent: Interest rates have been cut by half a percentage point … Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

**Percentage point** — Percentage points (pp) are the unit for the arithmetic difference of two percentages. Consider the following hypothetical example: in 1980, 40 percent of the population smoked, and in 1990 only 30 percent smoked. We can thus say that from 1980 to … Wikipedia

**percent** — , percentage point If interest rates are 10 percent and are raised to 11 percent, they have gone up by one percentage point, but by 10 percent in value (i.e., borrowers must now pay 10 percent more than previously). In everyday contexts the… … Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

**Percentage** — In mathematics, a percentage is a way of expressing a number as a fraction of 100 ( per cent meaning per hundred ). It is often denoted using the percent sign, % . For example, 45% (read as forty five percent ) is equal to 45 / 100, or… … Wikipedia

**Point** — The smallest unit of price change quoted or, one one hundredth of a percent. Related: minimum price fluctuation and tick. The New York Times Financial Glossary * * * ▪ I. point point 1 [pɔɪnt] noun [countable] 1. a single idea, opinion, or fact,… … Financial and business terms

**point** — See minimum price fluctuation. The CENTER ONLINE Futures Glossary See basis point. American Banker Glossary The smallest unit of price change quoted, or one one hundredth of a percent. Related: minimum price fluctuation and tick. Bloomberg… … Financial and business terms