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# Simple moving average

A simple moving average will simply take the sum of the time series variable for the last k periods and then will divide it by the number of periods. In this sense, it is identical to the calculation for the mean. However, what makes it different from a simple mean is the following:

• The average will shift for every additional time period. Moving averages are backward-looking, and every time a time period shifts, so will the average. That is why they are called moving. Moving averages are sometimes called rolling averages.
• The look backwards period can shift. That is the second characteristic of a moving average. A 10-period moving average will take the average of the last 10 data elements, while a 20-period moving average ...

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