From the above meaning and definitions, the chief characteristics of seasonal variations may be brought out as under:
(i) They result from such factors which are rhythmic in nature, and repeat themselves periodically with uniform rise and fall in magnitude. Most of the economic time series are influenced by seasonal swings. For example, prices, production, and consumption of goods, sales and profits in a business house, bank deposits, interest rates etc. all show seasonal variations.
(ii) They are definite and precise and can be foreseen with a little effort. For example, the prices of ice-creams go up in summer, those of umbrella in rainy season, and those of woolens in winter season. Similarly, the prices of ornaments go up during marriage season, and those of many commodities including fruits go up during festive occasions like Christmas, Id, etc. All these variations occur regularly season after season, and therefore, their cause of movements, effect, and magnitude can be reasonable foreseen beforehand.
They repeat themselves in less than one year of time. This means that their repeating cycles are of relatively shorter duration viz: 6 months, 3 months, one month, a week or so. They are evident when the data are recorded at weekly, monthly, or quarterly intervals. They do not appear in series of annual figures.