FORECAST function

This article describes the formula syntax and usage of the FORECAST function in Microsoft Excel.

Note   In Excel 2016, this function has been replaced with FORECAST.LINEAR as part of the new Forecasting functions. It's still available for backward compatibility, but consider using the new function in Excel 2016.

Description

Calculates, or predicts, a future value by using existing values. The predicted value is a y-value for a given x-value. The known values are existing x-values and y-values, and the new value is predicted by using linear regression. You can use this function to predict future sales, inventory requirements, or consumer trends.

Syntax

FORECAST(x, known_y's, known_x's)

The FORECAST function syntax has the following arguments:

  • X    Required. The data point for which you want to predict a value.

  • Known_y's    Required. The dependent array or range of data.

  • Known_x's    Required. The independent array or range of data.

Remarks

  • If x is nonnumeric, FORECAST returns the #VALUE! error value.

  • If known_y's and known_x's are empty or contain a different number of data points, FORECAST returns the #N/A error value.

  • If the variance of known_x's equals zero, then FORECAST returns the #DIV/0! error value.

  • The equation for FORECAST is a+bx, where:

    Equation

    and:

    Equation

    and where x and y are the sample means AVERAGE(known_x's) and AVERAGE(known y's).

Example

Copy the example data in the following table, and paste it in cell A1 of a new Excel worksheet. For formulas to show results, select them, press F2, and then press Enter. If you need to, you can adjust the column widths to see all the data.

Known Y

Known X

6

20

7

28

9

31

15

38

21

40

Formula

Description

Result

=FORECAST(30,A2:A6,B2:B6)

Predicts a value for y given an x value of 30

10.607253

Applies To: Excel Starter, Excel 2016 for Mac, Excel 2010, Excel 2013, Excel 2016 Preview, Excel for Mac 2011, Excel Online, Excel 2007



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