In time series analysis, a **centered moving average **is the moving average of a certain number of values, *centered* around a specific period.

The following example shows how to calculate a centered moving average for a dataset in Excel.

**Example: How to Calculate Centered Moving Average in Excel**

Suppose we have the following dataset that shows the total sales made during 12 consecutive months by some company:

Suppose we would like to calculate a 3-month centered moving average of sales values.

To do so, we can type the following formula into cell **C3**:

**=AVERAGE(B2:B4)
**

We can then click and drag this formula down to each remaining cell in column C:

The values in column C represent the 3-month centered moving average of the values in the sales column.

For example, the 3-month centered moving average of sales in February is **25.667**.

The formula uses the sales values in January, February and March to calculate this average:

3-Month Centered Moving Avg. of Sales in February: (22+25+30) / 3 = **25.667**

This matches the value calculated by our formula.

We can also use a different number of months to calculate the centered moving average values.

For example, we could type the following formula into cell **C4** to calculate the 5-month centered moving average of sales:

**=AVERAGE(B2:B6)
**

We can then click and drag this formula down to each remaining cell in column C:

The values in column C now represent the 5-month centered moving average of the values in the sales column.

For example, the 5-month centered moving average of sales in March is **28**.

The formula uses the sales values in January, February, March, April and May to calculate this average:

5-Month Centered Moving Avg. of Sales in March: (22+25+30+34+29) / 5 = **28**

This matches the value calculated by our formula.

**Additional Resources**

The following tutorials explain how to perform other common tasks in Excel:

How to Calculate a Weighted Moving Average in Excel

How to Calculate a Cumulative Average in Excel

How to Calculate an Exponential Moving Average in Excel