Percentage points refer to an increase or decrease of a percentage rather than an increase or decrease of a raw number. For example, an increase from 10 to 11 would be an increase of 10 percent. However, an increase from 10 percent to 11 percent is an increase of just 1 percentage point. Each percentage point can be subdivided into 100 basis points, For example, an increase of 0.5 percentage points would also equal and increase of 50 basis points.
Enter the final percentage amount in the calculator. For example, if interest rates rose from 4.7 percent to 5.3 percent, enter the final amount of "5.3" into the calculator.
Push the subtraction sign on the calculator.
Enter the original percentage. In this example, enter "4.7."
Push the equals sign to find the difference as measured in percentage points. Completing this example, when you push equals sign, your calculator will display "0.6," meaning the amount increased by 0.6 percentage points.
About the Author
Mark Kennan is a writer based in the Kansas City area, specializing in personal finance and business topics. He has been writing since 2009 and has been published by "Quicken," "TurboTax," and "The Motley Fool."
Hemera Technologies/Photos.com/Getty Images