Waterfall charts in style of The Economist with R

Waterfall charts are sometimes quite helpful to illustrate the various moving parts in financial data, particularly when I have positive and negative values like a profit and loss statement (P&L). However, they can be a bit of a pain to produce in Excel. Not so in R, thanks to the waterfall package by James Howard. In combination with the latticeExtra package it is nearly a one-liner to produce a good looking waterfall chart that mimics the look of The Economist:

Waterfall chart

Waterfall chart

library(latticeExtra)
library(waterfall)
data(rasiel) # Example data of the waterfall package
rasiel
#    label          value   subtotal
# 1  Net Sales       150    EBIT
# 2  Expenses       -170    EBIT 
# 3  Interest         18    Net Income
# 4  Gains            10    Net Income
# 5  Taxes            -2    Net Income

asTheEconomist(
               waterfallchart(value ~ label, data=rasiel,
                              groups=subtotal, main="P&L")
               )

Of course you can create a waterfall chart also with ggplot2, the Learning R blog has a post on this topic.

Related