Definition: Moving average
OECD - Data and Metadata Reporting
A moving average is a method for smoothing time series by averaging (with or without weights) a fixed number of consecutive terms. The averaging "moves" over time, in that each data point of the series is sequentially included in the averaging, while the oldest data point in the span of the average is removed. In general, the longer the span of the average, the smoother is the resulting series.
Task force on data and metadata presentation for the OECD Short-term Economic Statistics Working Party (STESWP), Paris, 2004 [quoted in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), "Data and Metadata Reporting and Presentation Handbook", OECD, Paris, 2007]