a year earlier period vs. the year earlier period

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LQZ

Senior Member
Mandarin
Total vehicle sales rose 72 per cent in the first quarter of this year from the year earlier period.

Dear all,

I suppose "the year earlier period" means the first quarter of last year, but I am not wholly sure for myself. And can I use "a year earlier period" to substitute for the blue bit? Thanks in advance.


LQZ
 
  • shawnee

    Senior Member
    English - Australian
    Neither the part in blue nor your proposed phrase will work I'm afraid. It is a case of comparison between this year's results and those of the same period last year. See if you can come up with another example.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    You didn't say where you found this, LQZ: I assume it was here, or on the FT.com website.

    It looks like a clear mistake to me. I don't know what the writer intended - perhaps simply "a year earlier".
     
    Last edited:

    Uncle Bob

    Senior Member
    British English
    Hello,
    It isn't good English and should be "in the same period of the previous year".
    (Thanks for the link, Loob)
     
    Last edited:

    LQZ

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    Thanks, everyone, I've got it.

    To Loob,

    I came across it in a journal at a Chinese forum, and I didn't give the link because those former links from this forum don't work. :(
     

    chrisp124

    Senior Member
    French (France)
    If the subject is an annual increase and not a quarterly increase, the phrase should be better written (in business English) : At the end of the first quarter 2010, total vehicle sales had risen 72 percent year on year.
     

    LQZ

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    If the subject is an annual increase and not a quarterly increase, the phrase should be better written (in business English) : At the end of the first quarter 2010, total vehicle sales had risen 72 percent year on year.
    Thanks, I've got it. :)
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Total vehicle sales rose 72 per cent in the first quarter of this year from the year-earlier period.
    Apparently this is not an uncommon phrase, especially referring to periods of less than a year (such as "first quarter") but there is usually a hyphen between year and earlier, as I put in red. In this case (and the many others I found in financial reports ) the "period" refers to the one already mentioned "the first quarter of this year" so the year-earlier period is the "the first quarter of last year". There is usually an overt reference to "annual" sales if that is what is meant. I don't believe that's the case here - it just refers to the sales in the named quarter.
     
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