Rising to the occasion
A correspondent looked in on the Associated Press Stylebook’s online question-and-answer site* and found this exchange:
Q. Does AP have a rule or guideline on the order of compared numbers? For example, in "Tuition would rise from $12,681 per semester to $13,176," does AP care which number comes first, old or new? – from Mount Pleasant, S.C. on Thu, Jun 09, 2011
A. It may be a clearer to say ... Tuition would rise to $13,176 per semester, from the current $12,681 per semester.
The correspondent reports being “baffled by editors who think it is more helpful to put the old number after the new number when comparing numbers.” Right. Typically, when we say that something rises, we talk about a starting point and then a higher. That is what “rises from” suggests.
My suspicion is that AP prefers “rises to” not because it is “clearer,” but because that allows placing the newer number first, which is, after all, the news. That the reader may have to work backward to figure it out is of no consequence to the AP, because the customary reading expectations and ease of the reader are not a consideration. (Think of the AP’s insistence on placing adverbs deliberately awkward places in sentences.)
*You Don’t Say strongly advises against this. Where AP is silent or opaque, you should establish your own style preferences.