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Prices at the producer level are only 1.3 percent higher now than a

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Prices at the producer level are only 1.3 percent higher now than a  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 27 Aug 2018, 01:05
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GMAT® Official Guide 2017

Practice Question
Question No.: SC 758
Page: 700

Prices at the producer level are only 1.3 percent higher now than a year ago and are going down, even though floods in the Midwest and drought in the south are hurting crops and therefore raised corn and soybean prices.

(A) than a year ago and are going down, even though floods in the Midwest and drought in the south are hurting crops and therefore raised

(B) than those of a year ago and are going down, even though floods in the Midwest and drought in the south are hurting crops and therefore raising

(C) than a year ago and are going down, despite floods in the Midwest and drought in the south, and are hurting crops and therefore raising

(D) as those of a year ago and are going down, even though floods in the Midwest and drought in the south hurt crops and therefore raise

(E) as they were a year ago and are going down, despite floods in the Midwest and drought in the south, and are hurting crops and therefore raising

Producer Level

(A) Comparison (X higher than Y); Verb / Meaning (raised)

(B) CORRECT

(C) Comparison (X higher than Y); Structure / Meaning

(D) Comparison (X higher as Y)

(E) Comparison (X higher as Y); Structure / Meaning


First glance

The first word switches between than and as. The sentence will contain a comparison; should the comparison idiom use than or as?

Issues

(1) Comparison: X higher than Y; X higher as Y

The first three answers use than and the final two use as. Which should it be? Also, check that the comparison is an apples-to-apples comparison.

The correct idiom is either higher than or as high as. This sentence uses higher, so the correct pairing must be than. Eliminate answers (D) and (E).

Prices at the producer level are higher now

(A) than a year ago

(B) than those of a year ago

(C) than a year ago


What are the remaining answers comparing? Answers (A) and (C) compare now to a year ago. Answer (B) compares prices now to those (prices) of a year ago. While it can be acceptable to compare timeframes (as in OG 2017 #772 / OG 2016 #104 “this year” and “last [year]”), the more precise comparison in this problem is between the two prices: prices now versus prices of a year ago.

Answer (B) makes the proper comparison. Eliminate (A) and (C).

(2) Verb / Meaning: are hurting and therefore raised

The sentence is trying to convey a certain sequence of events: floods and drought are hurting crops and therefore causing something else to happen. This second event is caused by the first; therefore, this second event should take place at the same time as or later in time than the first event.

If crops are being hurt right now in the present, then it’s illogical to indicate that the consequence (raised prices) took place in the past. Eliminate answer (A).

(3) Structure / Meaning: and are hurting crops

Answers (C) and (E) both insert an and just before are hurting. What consequences does this have for the sentence structure?

Fix: The core sentences read:

(C) Prices are higher now than a year ago and are hurting crops…

(E) Prices are higher now as they were a year ago and are hurting crops…

In both cases, parallelism dictates that the subject prices must pair with the verb are hurting. In other words, the sentence indicates that the current prices are hurting crops. This is illogical. The floods and drought, not the prices, are hurting crops.

Eliminate answers (C) and (E) for faulty meaning.

The Correct Answer

Correct answer (B) makes a valid comparison between prices now and those (prices) of a year ago. It also clearly conveys the sequence of events: floods…and drought are…hurting crops now, and therefore (are) raising prices (also now).

*Note: the official explanation indicates that the word hurt, in answer (D), is in the simple past. The word hurt can also be simple present: floods and drought hurt crops (today or in general in the present) and therefore raise prices (again, today or in general). Answer (D) is still incorrect, but not for this particular reason stated in the official explanation.

Logical predication; Verb form

The sentence as written makes an illogical comparison between prices at the producer level and a time period (a year ago); surely the intended comparison is between such prices now and those of a year ago. The clause at the end of the sentence states that flooding and a drought are hurting crops, and as a result of this, they have raised prices of certain crops. Are hurting is in the present progressive tense, indicating an ongoing process; raised is in the simple past tense, indicating a completed action. It would be more appropriate to use the present progressive tense here as well, [are] raising.

(D) The comparative adjective higher requires the comparative term than instead of as; the tenses of the verbs in the latter half of the sentence, hurt (simple past) and raise (simple present), do not work together logically.

Originally posted by Arlene0504 on 25 Sep 2015, 23:31.
Last edited by hazelnut on 27 Aug 2018, 01:05, edited 4 times in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Re: Prices at the producer level are only 1.3 percent higher now than a  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Sep 2015, 01:02
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First thing: Please look into transcription; corn and soybean prices should not be underlined.


For those who want to go into the complicated process finding the nuances in meaning created by ellipsis, they can do that; but before that one should ensure that one can eliminate as many choices as possible on grammar alone. IMO, this problem can be easily solved without bothering about the differences in meaning of comparison. We can forthwith dispense with D and E for using the ‘as’ comparator instead of the ‘than’ comparator. Among A, B and C:

A: than a year ago and are going down, even though floods I the Midwest and drought in the south are hurting crops and therefore raised --- are hurting and raised are blatant shift of tense. So gone.
B: than those of a year ago, and are going down, even though floods in the Midwest and drought in the south are hurting crops and therefore raising ---Grammatically good
C: than a year ago and are going down, despite floods in the Midwest and drought in the south, and are hurting crops and therefore raising—This is a fragment; the conjunction ‘and’ creates confusion as to what are hurting crops and raising. They seem to point to the subject the sentence prices at producer level;

As a foot-note, I wish to add a small comment by no less than Ron on this
https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/foru ... 32362.html

Quote:
RonPurewal wrote: both versions are fine.
I looked at the problem, and—just as I suspected—the choices with '...than a year ago' can be eliminated for other, quite straightforward, reasons.

Don’t forget—the OG answer keys are usually incomplete, and often incorrect.
The official PROBLEMS are essentially flawless, but the official answer keys are not. (GMAC's all-stars, the people who write the problems, do not write the answer keys; GMAC 'outsources' that work to people of lesser talent, presumably to cut costs.)

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Re: Prices at the producer level are only 1.3 percent higher now than a  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Sep 2015, 00:21
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I understand what you ask

this the old question, this year and last year are adverb, and they are comparision elements . they shoud be present in both part of comparision and should be paralel.

similarly, prices and those are comparison elemements and they should be present in both parts of comparision and should be paralel.

two questions are similar in that
both comparison elements are present in both parts and paralel.
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Re: Prices at the producer level are only 1.3 percent higher now than a  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Oct 2015, 01:53
Hi daagh,

Can you please explain more on how did you eliminate option E for using "as"?

IMO: As needs a clause after it and in this case we have "as they were a year ago".

Kindly help.


daagh wrote:
First thing: Please look into transcription; corn and soybean prices should not be underlined.


For those who want to go into the complicated process finding the nuances in meaning created by ellipsis, they can do that; but before that one should ensure that one can eliminate as many choices as possible on grammar alone. IMO, this problem can be easily solved without bothering about the differences in meaning of comparison. We can forthwith dispense with D and E for using the ‘as’ comparator instead of the ‘than’ comparator. Among A, B and C:

A: than a year ago and are going down, even though floods I the Midwest and drought in the south are hurting crops and therefore raised --- are hurting and raised are blatant shift of tense. So gone.
B: than those of a year ago, and are going down, even though floods in the Midwest and drought in the south are hurting crops and therefore raising ---Grammatically good
C: than a year ago and are going down, despite floods in the Midwest and drought in the south, and are hurting crops and therefore raising—This is a fragment; the conjunction ‘and’ creates confusion as to what are hurting crops and raising. They seem to point to the subject the sentence prices at producer level;

As a foot-note, I wish to add a small comment by no less than Ron on this
https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/foru ... 32362.html

Quote:
RonPurewal wrote: both versions are fine.
I looked at the problem, and—just as I suspected—the choices with '...than a year ago' can be eliminated for other, quite straightforward, reasons.

Don’t forget—the OG answer keys are usually incomplete, and often incorrect.
The official PROBLEMS are essentially flawless, but the official answer keys are not. (GMAC's all-stars, the people who write the problems, do not write the answer keys; GMAC 'outsources' that work to people of lesser talent, presumably to cut costs.)

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New post 15 Oct 2015, 03:09
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My reason for eliminating E is that, ‘higher’ a comparative degree of comparison, requires ‘than’ rather than “as”.

1.3 percent ‘higher now than’ is good. 1.3 percent ‘higher now as’ is incorrect. This is a rule of grammar.

‘As’ can act as a role player, as a preposition and as a conjunction. You require a clause only when it is used as a conjunction. In the other cases, it is followed by nouns. In this stimulus ‘as’ is used a preposition.
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Re: Prices at the producer level are only 1.3 percent higher now than a  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Sep 2016, 09:12
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Quote:
Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher this year than last.
Prices at the producer level are only 1.3 percent higher now than a year ago


Both sentences are not the same grammatically.

In the first, you compare this year, a noun, with another year, namely last year, another year.
However, in the second case you are comparing now, an adverb with a year ago, a noun.
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Re: Prices at the producer level are only 1.3 percent higher now than a  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Sep 2016, 00:10
Hi instructors,

comparison is another problem confused me a lot

please help to check whether I am correct:
1/
sales are higher this year than last year -- Correct,
the same as
sales are higher this year than (that of) last year. the comparison is this year's sales and last year's sales.

2/
price is higher this year than last year -- Correct.
the same as
price is higher this year than (that of) last year. the comparison is this year's price and last year's price

3/
price is higher now than a year ago -- Correct
the same as
price is higher now than (that of) a year ago . the comparison is this now - price and a year ago - price

4/
price is 1.3 percentage higher now than a year ago -- Correct

thus, IMO, the comparisons in A and C are correct.

please check.

thanks a lot
have a nice day
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Re: Prices at the producer level are only 1.3 percent higher now than a  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Sep 2016, 00:57
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zoezhuyan, I agree with my colleague Ron Purewal (cited above) that the comparisons in A and C aren't necessarily faulty. There are other reasons to eliminate those choices. However, I want to make a slight correction to your analysis above. Your use of "that of" or "those of" in parentheses makes it appear that the implied comparison is between two nouns. Actually, your choices should read ("they were") or ("it was"). The comparison is actually between two adverbial modifiers. Prices are different now than they were last year. This is important because I can't say something like this:

American crows are larger today than in ancient China.

If we filled in "those," this might make sense: "American crows are larger today than those (crows) in ancient China." However, the actual implied meaning here is a comparison between two modifiers: "today" and "in ancient China." "American crows are larger today than (they were) in ancient China." This would make it seem that American crows existed in ancient China!
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Re: Prices at the producer level are only 1.3 percent higher now than a  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Nov 2016, 03:16
hi experts,
here is a question,
please check the end of the sentence,corn and soybean prices.

I am curious, why no "corn's and soybean's prices" ?

waiting for your help

thanks a lot

have a nice day
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Re: Prices at the producer level are only 1.3 percent higher now than a  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Nov 2016, 20:32
zoezhuyan wrote:
hi experts,
here is a question,
please check the end of the sentence,corn and soybean prices.

I am curious, why no "corn's and soybean's prices" ?

waiting for your help

thanks a lot

have a nice day
>_~


This usage is alright. It is not a practice to use possessive when referring to price in general, not specifically to that of a particular item.

The oil price has dropped drastically in recent past.... correct. (oil in general)
That doll's price is 10€. ..... correct. (a specific doll)
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Re: Prices at the producer level are only 1.3 percent higher now than a  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Nov 2016, 21:57
Can we safely say that the phrase: "higher now than a year ago" in options A and C are not grammatically incorrect?

I saw one of the post wherein it was mentioned that phrase is incorrect. I eliminated both the options based on other grounds.
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Re: Prices at the producer level are only 1.3 percent higher now than a  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Nov 2016, 19:21
DmitryFarber wrote:
zoezhuyan, I agree with my colleague Ron Purewal (cited above) that the comparisons in A and C aren't necessarily faulty. There are other reasons to eliminate those choices. However, I want to make a slight correction to your analysis above. Your use of "that of" or "those of" in parentheses makes it appear that the implied comparison is between two nouns. Actually, your choices should read ("they were") or ("it was"). The comparison is actually between two adverbial modifiers. Prices are different now than they were last year. This is important because I can't say something like this:

American crows are larger today than in ancient China.

If we filled in "those," this might make sense: "American crows are larger today than those (crows) in ancient China." However, the actual implied meaning here is a comparison between two modifiers: "today" and "in ancient China." "American crows are larger today than (they were) in ancient China." This would make it seem that American crows existed in ancient China!



Going by your logic, OA doesn't make sense, does it?

The choice should have been "than they were ..." . Am I correct?
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Re: Prices at the producer level are only 1.3 percent higher now than a  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Nov 2016, 10:21
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warriorguy wrote:
Can we safely say that the phrase: "higher now than a year ago" in options A and C are not grammatically incorrect?

I saw one of the post wherein it was mentioned that phrase is incorrect. I eliminated both the options based on other grounds.


Omission is acceptable if:
1. The omitted part is repeated ( i.e. it occurs at least once in the sentence).
2. It does not obscure the meaning.

Here is an example from OG, in which omission was allowed:

in-no-other-historical-sighting-did-halleys-comet-cause-such-24215.html#p157102

If omission is acceptable for such... as.... comparison, it must be logically acceptable for superlative+than comparison as well.

Now coming to this specific example, the complete sentence before omission is:

Prices at the producer level are only 1.3 percent higher now than they were a year ago.

The verb were does not occur anywhere else in the sentence, hence it must be repeated - in this case omission is NOT allowed.
( In the comet example the omitted verb did cause occurs in the sentence - hence omission is allowed.)

Another alternative is to compare the prices (nouns) - the correct choice does noun comparison rather than clause comparison (please see my post below). (For clause comparison, "they were" would be required.)
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Re: Prices at the producer level are only 1.3 percent higher now than a  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Nov 2016, 10:35
manhasnoname wrote:
DmitryFarber wrote:
zoezhuyan, I agree with my colleague Ron Purewal (cited above) that the comparisons in A and C aren't necessarily faulty. There are other reasons to eliminate those choices. However, I want to make a slight correction to your analysis above. Your use of "that of" or "those of" in parentheses makes it appear that the implied comparison is between two nouns. Actually, your choices should read ("they were") or ("it was"). The comparison is actually between two adverbial modifiers. Prices are different now than they were last year. This is important because I can't say something like this:

American crows are larger today than in ancient China.

If we filled in "those," this might make sense: "American crows are larger today than those (crows) in ancient China." However, the actual implied meaning here is a comparison between two modifiers: "today" and "in ancient China." "American crows are larger today than (they were) in ancient China." This would make it seem that American crows existed in ancient China!



Going by your logic, OA doesn't make sense, does it?

The choice should have been "than they were ..." . Am I correct?


The OA compares nouns ( prices now and prices of an year ago.) If the comparison were between clauses , then "they were" would be required. Clause comparison allows omission of repeated parts in some cases, but not in this example. Please see my post above.

Noun comparison: Prices now is higher than prices then.
Clause comparison: Prices are now higher than they were an year ago. (omission not allowed; "were" does not occur elsewhere in the sentence.)
Clause comparison: Prices were higher an year ago than prices were a couple of years ago (omission allowed, since "prices were" already occurs in the sentence.)
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Re: Prices at the producer level are only 1.3 percent higher now than a  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Nov 2016, 15:21
sayantanc2k wrote:
manhasnoname wrote:
DmitryFarber wrote:
zoezhuyan, I agree with my colleague Ron Purewal (cited above) that the comparisons in A and C aren't necessarily faulty. There are other reasons to eliminate those choices. However, I want to make a slight correction to your analysis above. Your use of "that of" or "those of" in parentheses makes it appear that the implied comparison is between two nouns. Actually, your choices should read ("they were") or ("it was"). The comparison is actually between two adverbial modifiers. Prices are different now than they were last year. This is important because I can't say something like this:

American crows are larger today than in ancient China.

If we filled in "those," this might make sense: "American crows are larger today than those (crows) in ancient China." However, the actual implied meaning here is a comparison between two modifiers: "today" and "in ancient China." "American crows are larger today than (they were) in ancient China." This would make it seem that American crows existed in ancient China!



Going by your logic, OA doesn't make sense, does it?

The choice should have been "than they were ..." . Am I correct?


The OA compares nouns ( prices now and prices of an year ago.) If the comparison were between clauses , then "they were" would be required. Clause comparison allows omission of repeated parts in some cases, but not in this example. Please see my post above.

Noun comparison: Prices now is higher than prices then.
Clause comparison: Prices are now higher than they were an year ago. (omission not allowed; "were" does not occur elsewhere in the sentence.)
Clause comparison: Prices were higher an year ago than prices were a couple of years ago (omission allowed, since "prices were" already occurs in the sentence.)


Makes sense.

Clarification question: Prices "are" higher now than they "were" a year ago is incorrect because "are" is different from "were". Did I get it right?
In other words, what I understood for your explanation is that the same exact verb is allowed to be omitted. Am I right?

Another follow-up question - What is the role played by "of" in the OA?

prices now are higher than those a year ago

vs

prices now are higher than those of a year ago


What is the difference?

Thanks!
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Re: Prices at the producer level are only 1.3 percent higher now than a  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Nov 2016, 06:39
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manhasnoname wrote:
sayantanc2k wrote:
manhasnoname wrote:
Going by your logic, OA doesn't make sense, does it?

The choice should have been "than they were ..." . Am I correct?


The OA compares nouns ( prices now and prices of an year ago.) If the comparison were between clauses , then "they were" would be required. Clause comparison allows omission of repeated parts in some cases, but not in this example. Please see my post above.

Noun comparison: Prices now is higher than prices then.
Clause comparison: Prices are now higher than they were an year ago. (omission not allowed; "were" does not occur elsewhere in the sentence.)
Clause comparison: Prices were higher an year ago than prices were a couple of years ago (omission allowed, since "prices were" already occurs in the sentence.)


Makes sense.

Clarification question: Prices "are" higher now than they "were" a year ago is incorrect because "are" is different from "were". Did I get it right?
In other words, what I understood for your explanation is that the same exact verb is allowed to be omitted. Am I right?

Another follow-up question - What is the role played by "of" in the OA?

prices now are higher than those a year ago

vs

prices now are higher than those of a year ago


What is the difference?

Thanks!


Prices "are" higher now than they "were" a year ago is CORRECT, but "were" cannot be omitted because "are" is different from "were": Prices "are" higher now than they "were" a year ago is INCORRECT.

I do not see any difference between using and not using "of".
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Re: Prices at the producer level are only 1.3 percent higher now than a  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Apr 2017, 04:19
souvik101990
Option B contains a comma before "and" that is incorrect, confirmed with OG 2017 SC no 758.
This comma leads to option "B" be deemed as incorrect because preposition "and" doesn't link two independent clauses.
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New post 26 Apr 2017, 22:44
Prices at the producer level are only 1.3 percent higher now than a year ago and are going down, even though floods in the Midwest and drought in the south are hurting crops and therefore raised corn and soybean prices.

1) Prices.........are and are going down
2) floods in the Midwest and drought in the south ..........are hurting

Meaning:
Prices are higher this year and are now going down even though floods and drought are hurting crops. This has raised corn and soybean prices.

Error:
Use of 'raised is wrong as this is simple past tense whereas the whole sentence is in present continuous tense. It does make sense.

Option B corrects this error.

Note: 'As' is used to show an extent or degree of something while making comparison. So using 'as' here is non-sensical.
Even though and despite can be used interchangeably.
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New post 26 Apr 2017, 23:05
Alexey1989x wrote:
souvik101990
Option B contains a comma before "and" that is incorrect, confirmed with OG 2017 SC no 758.
This comma leads to option "B" be deemed as incorrect because preposition "and" doesn't link two independent clauses.



Hi GMAT Ninja and other experts
It would be great if you could answer this.


Why the correct sentence uses a comma before and? As far as I know, this construction is used to connect two independent clause.

Here they can be:
Prices at the producer level are only 1.3 percent higher now than those of a year ago.

Prices at the producer level are going down.

The subject prices has two verbs are and are going down. And we use just a conjunction 'and' to connect verbs of the same subject. Then why a comma?

Also can this be a correct version of this sentence?

Prices at the producer level are only 1.3 percent higher now than a year ago.


Thanks
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Re: Prices at the producer level are only 1.3 percent higher now than a  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Apr 2017, 23:07
Hello experts

I have posted my query and need some clarity on use of 'comma+and' construction in this sentence.


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Re: Prices at the producer level are only 1.3 percent higher now than a &nbs [#permalink] 26 Apr 2017, 23:07

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