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An often arbitrary figure used as the initial value of an index. All future values of the index are comparisons against the base value. For example, suppose an index is formed in 2001 and its base value is 100. If the index is 150 in 2009, it means that its value is 50% higher in 2009 than it was in 2001. It is also called the index number. See also: Base Year.
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