Generally speaking one will not necessarily be able to establish a significant statistical trend from just 2 (or 3) successive annual data-points. A significant trend usually only emerges over longer time-series data. Thus, to be correct, there are no "trends" in the data given in the example.
In some of the business reading that's crossed my eyes in the midst of a wide project, I am confused here.
I "almost" agree that no *two* points make a "trend", but doesn't *three*!?
Linguistically, to me, it becomes questions like "sustainable trend vs short lived trend", because businesses "do business" in Year 1, click along, close the books. In Year 2, they "do more business", close the books, and someone does the subtraction and goes "uhh... Boss? What happened here?"
It's at least fundamental to American Accounting, that assuming no foul play, Management Reports "what happened" and it could be "anything".
But the *third year* comes along and when the books close, Management has to decide (and here's a cool linguistic trick):
Level 1. "Okay, what's going on."
Level 2 "Wait, what IS going on!?"
Level 3 "What is going ON?!!"
And it's legendary in business theory they either perform *briliantly* in year 4-5 (sometimes it takes a year of just ops to come in), or they MISSED a fundamental and can *crash*. (With varying years of market inertia etc. Sorta like the iPhone 3GS showed up, and I did that one right, it was EXACTLY the model to avoid early phaseout, but had *just* enough firepower to be a "supported model" and mine lasted me about *six* years!"
So then it takes a while for the Blackberry to grind out its endgame, but there it went.
So not counting a "tread-water" year in year 4, a business had really better have a GRAND "Stage 3GS" plan or they croak.