happyface101 wrote:
Last year, sales at Company X were 10% greater in February than in January, 15% less in March than in Feb, 20% greater in April than in March, 10% less in May than in April, and 5% greater in June than in May. In which month were sales closest to Jan?
a. Feb
b. Mar
c. Apr
d. May
e. June
What's the easiest / quickest way to solve this?
You can do this question easily if you understand number properties. Let me try to explain. Note that explaining takes quite a bit of time though if you understand this, thinking through doesn't take more than a few seconds:
There is an increase, then a decrease, then an increase, then a decrease and an increase again.
Most probably, when you apply an increase and then a decrease, the figure will come back close to its original value. So March or May are the best bets.
The first iteration (Feb-March) will take it much lower since after you increase by 10%, you are decreasing by a number greater than 10%. Actually, to come back to original, you need to decrease by a number slightly smaller than 10%.
Take an example: original value = 100
Increase by 10% to get 110.
Now if you decrease it by about 9%, you will get 100 back. But you actually decrease by 15% so it goes down. So March is unlikely.
Next iteration is April-May. You increase a number smaller than 100 by 20% and then bring it down by 10%. This should be the answer in all probability. Though 20% seems like a big increase compared to the 10% decrease so it looks like the figure might be much greater than original but the next step (5% increase) is a further increase so June is anyway not possible.
Just to be sure, let's see the effect of these 4 operations on the original value:
(11/10)*(17/20)*(6/5)*(9/10) = (99/100)*(102/100) (club together first and last terms to get 99/100 and second and third terms to get 102/100)
This would be extremely close to 1.
So answer would be May.
Answer (D)