The Wall Street Journal article titled "Consumer-Sentiment Index Shows Improvement", a survey was used to get insight into how consumers feel about economics and shopping. The reporter uses percentages, and index readings to give information about the survey. He also uses one number to help with a fact. Those percentages are what consumers thought about inflation and if it would rise by how much, one was for a duration of time and the index numbers were averages.
The numbers are not overwhelming but the index readings aren't told how they were found and how many people were surveyed. The reporter did not use math at all but these must have just been numbers that were part of the survey that he used to report on. The sources are from the Reuters and "University of Michigan consumer-sentiment index."