What is a Fudge Factor ?

It is a most unfortunate fact that, however beautiful a theory is, the data plots just don't want to fit the nicely drawn curve.  It is a problem in all fields of investigation.  The solution is easy.  Just take the function that defines the curve, determine the correction necessary to bring outliers into the curve and - voila! - the theory works!

All that remains is to invent a new name for the correction that must be applied.  There is no universal standard for this.  One person's dark energy is another person's epicycle.

The British government endorses the use of the seasonal adjustment, but only after the application of any necessary prior adjustment.  The method is fully explained in this free pdf.

Once you have read the pdf, you have the necessary tools to understand how Britain's Nationwide, a mortgage lender, can state quite categorically that house prices fell by 0.4% from March to April, whilst at the same time rising by an average of BP915.

Cosmologists, eat your hearts out.  You can keep your dark matter and dark energy.  Economics has you beaten into a cocked hat when it comes to inventing fudge factors.