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6.5. Punctuation in figures

In English, Irish and Maltese publications, except the Official Journal, a point is used to separate whole numbers from decimals. A comma is used for this in all other languages and also in multilingual texts. A space is used to indicate thousands in whole numbers (not a comma). Decimals are grouped in a single block:

152 231.324567
NB:
Serial numbers, for example page numbers, are not grouped in thousands:
p. 1452

In the Official Journal a comma is used to separate whole numbers from decimals for technical purposes to speed up production.

Budgetary data: million or billion

In English use billion to mean 1 000 million (see Section 10.5(d)).

When dealing with budgetary data, it is advisable to use the following form.

Up to three decimal places, keep to the appropriate unit:
1.326 billion (not 1 326 million)
Above three decimal places, descend to the smaller unit:
1 326.1 million (not 1.3261 billion)

This makes the figures easier to read and compare.

Last updated: 12.4.2018
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