Data Book


2.04 Number format

The format to express number has three elements.

a. Location of the digit separator (normally called thousands separator) location.
b. Symbols used for the digit separations and decimal point.
c. Positive/Negative number sign.

For location of digit separator, each 3-digits (thousand) is the most popular way, but there are also other cases.
Note that even if 3-digits is popular in Arabic numbers, it might be different when number is expressed and written or spoken in local language, (for details refer to Word expression of number)

For symbols, there are two popular cases, but there are also other exceptional symbols used.

Type -1: 12,345,678.901 , (comma) for digits separator, and . (period)for decimal point
Type -2: 12.345.678,901 . (period) for digit separator, and , (comma) for decimal point

Digit separator Symbol
ChinaCNA 3 digits 1
Hong KongHKG 3 digits 1 (for monetary amount) note-1
space: for other than monetary
India IND 3 (2) digits 1 note-2 separator for each 2 digits are needed
Indonesia INA 3 digits 2
Japan JPN 3 digits 1
Korea KOR 3 digits 1
Malaysia MAS 3 digits 1
Philippines PHI 3 digits 1
Singapore SIN 3 digits 1
Thailand THI 3 digits 1

note-1: There are two digit separators used in Hong Kong. For monetary amount, it is comma like many other countries (Type-1). Besides, for other than monetary amount, space can also be used.
note-2: 2 digits system: 12, 34, 567.89 separator is needed for each 2 digit for beyond 1000.

Positive Negative sign Location
China CNA no sign or + - (minus) beginning note-1
Hong Kong HKG no sign or + - (minus),( ) beginning note-1, note-2, note-3
India IND no sign or + - (minus) beginning
Indonesia INA no sign or + - (minus) beginning
Japan JPN no sign or + - (minus), ,( ) beginning note-2, note-4
Korea KOR no sign or + - (minus), ,( ) beginning note-2, note-4
Malaysia MAS no sign or + - (minus),( ) beginning note-1, note-2
Philippines PHI no sign or + - (minus) beginning
Singapore SIN no sign or + - (minus),( ) beginning note-1, note-2
Thailand THI no sign or + - (minus) beginning note-1

note-1: Numbers in red ink means negative numbers for accounting application
note-2: Numbers in bracket means negative numbers for accounting application
note-3: DR and CR also use for accounting.
note-4: is used for accounting mostly. Word (in) RED CHARACTER means minus bottom line (It may and may not be written in normal ink with negative sign or red ink without negative sign)


Back to Data Book Index    Next chapter