In the end, I think "they" are coming up with these figures using what The Pineapple Mom always called "New Math". I'm not really sure what "New Math" is, although that term got thrown around The Pineapple House a lot about the time I got to high school.** I always thought that's what you accused math of being when either (a) you don't know how to do the math and you need an out that doesn't make you look ignorant or (b) what you call it when dumb people make shit up and claim they got there by using math. Either way, no one can confirm or deny the result. Therefore, we had a great day for the economy even though people only showed up to one Walmart in the entire country.
*I don't know who "they" is. For all I know, it is Bob From Mars.
**It was not helpful to be told what I was doing was "New Math" when I was asking for help with my homework. And then ironic when I got in trouble for making Cs when no one at home could figure it out either. I'm just saying!