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The Commerce Department reported that the nation's economy grew at a

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The Commerce Department reported that the nation's economy grew at a brisk annual pace of 3.7 percent in the second quarter, but that while businesses were expanding their production, unsold goods piled up on store shelves as consumer spending is slowed sharply.

(A) unsold goods piled up on store shelves as consumer spending is slowed sharply

(B) unsold goods were piling up on store shelves as consumer spending slowed sharply

(C) unsold goods had piled up on store shelves with a sharp slowing of consumer spending

(D) consumer spending was slowing sharply, with the piling up of unsold goods on store shelves

(E) consumer spending has slowed sharply, with unsold goods piling up on store shelves

https://www.nytimes.com/1994/07/30/us/economy-is-up-3.7-but-signs-hint-of-slowing.html

In a report that cheered the Administration and financial markets for different reasons, the Commerce Department said today that the nation's economy grew at a brisk annual pace of 3.7 percent in the second quarter. But the report also showed that while businesses were expanding their production, unsold goods were piling up on store shelves as consumer spending slowed sharply.

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Re: The Commerce Department reported that the nation's economy grew at a  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jan 2019, 12:56
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This one is fun, huh? :)

thangvietnam wrote:
I do not see any error in choice D
is this question from official source.

Yup, it's from the OG! I occasionally hallucinate things in the OGs, but Bunuel verified it, and he does not make mistakes. (Also: mosquitos refuse to bite him, just out of respect. And the last time he went to Spain, he chased the bulls.)

MikeScarn wrote:
GMATNinja GMATNinjaTwo Hey guys, can you please explain what "that" is doing in my sentence? :)

I see what you did there! Nicely played, MikeScarn.

The second "that" might feel a little bit unnecessary, but it's there to emphasize the parallelism:

    "The Commerce Department reported that the nation's economy grew at a brisk annual pace of 3.7 percent in the second quarter, but that while businesses were expanding their production, unsold goods piled up on store shelves..."

So the Commerce Department reported two things: (1) "that the nation's economy grew..." and (2) "that while businesses were expanding their production, unsold goods piled up on store shelves..." So the word "that" just subordinates the two clauses, and clarifies that both clauses are things that "the Commerce Department reported." Fair enough. (More on "that" in this article and this video.)

septwibowo wrote:

I've read all the explanation but still confused why D is wrong...

Yeah, the "with" thing is tricky. Let's go through all of the answer choices, just to be safe.

Quote:
The Commerce Department reported that the nation's economy grew at a brisk annual pace of 3.7 percent in the second quarter, but that while businesses were expanding their production, unsold goods piled up on store shelves as consumer spending is slowed sharply.

(A) unsold goods piled up on store shelves as consumer spending is slowed sharply

The verb tenses make no sense here. Businesses "were expanding" (past progressive tense, if you like jargon -- basically, an ongoing action in the past), but then consumer spending "is slowed sharply" (present tense). There's no good reason to mix those tenses here. (A) is out.

Quote:
(B) unsold goods were piling up on store shelves as consumer spending slowed sharply

I have no problem with this. It's all in past tense: "business were expanding their production", "unsold goods were piling up", and "consumer spending slowed." That actually makes sense.

Let's keep (B).

Quote:
(C) unsold goods had piled up on store shelves with a sharp slowing of consumer spending

The verb tense doesn't work in (C), for starters. The past perfect tense "had piled up" must describe an action that logically occurs before something else in the past. And that just doesn't work here: the action "unsold goods had piled up on store shelves" doesn't happen before "business were expanding their production." That's enough to eliminate (C).

The "with" is also goofy, but I'll say more about that in (D), since that one has attracted more questions.

Quote:
(D) consumer spending was slowing sharply, with the piling up of unsold goods on store shelves

Maybe I'm missing something, but I can think of two major uses of the word "with":

    1. To indicate that one thing or person is accompanied by another: "Tim went with Ron to see a nine-hour documentary about weiner dogs."
    2. To modify or describe an action: "Milena ate an entire pizza with great enthusiasm." The phrase "with great enthusiasm" just describes the action, "Mila ate."

The problem with (D) is that neither usage of "with" really applies here. It makes no sense to say that spending was slowing accompanied by "the piling up of unsold goods," the way Tim was accompanied by Ron. And it's not logical for "the piling up of unsold goods" to describe the slowing spending.

Contrast this with (B), in which "as" indicates that the slowing of spending and the piling up of goods are happening at the same time. This is perfectly logical, and much, much clearer.

So given the choice between (D) and (B), (B) wins.

Quote:
(E) consumer spending has slowed sharply, with unsold goods piling up on store shelves

Welp, (E) has the same "with" problem as (D). Also, the verb tense still doesn't make a whole lot of sense: "has slowed" indicates an action that starts in the past but continues in the present, but then the non-underlined portion of the sentence is still in the past. It's not necessarily a crime to mix verb tenses, but in this case, there's no good reason to do it.

So (B) is the best we can do.
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Re: The Commerce Department reported that the nation's economy grew at a  [#permalink]

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Hello Everyone!

Let’s take a closer look at this question so we can narrow it down to the correct option.

The Commerce Department reported that the nation's economy grew at a brisk annual pace of 3.7 percent in the second quarter, but that while businesses were expanding their production, unsold goods piled up on store shelves as consumer spending is slowed sharply.

(A) unsold goods piled up on store shelves as consumer spending is slowed sharply
(B) unsold goods were piling up on store shelves as consumer spending slowed sharply
(C) unsold goods had piled up on store shelves with a sharp slowing of consumer spending
(D) consumer spending was slowing sharply, with the piling up of unsold goods on store shelves
(E) consumer spending has slowed sharply, with unsold goods piling up on store shelves

After taking a quick glance over each of the options, two major differences jumped out to me that we must address:

1. Linking the two events with the words “as” or “with”
2. The verb “slow”: is slowed/slowed/slowing/was slowing/has slowed

Which item would eliminate the most options quickly? Number 1 - using “with” or “as” to link together both events. No matter which one you choose, it will knock off either 2 or 3 options immediately, giving you a better chance of finding the right one!

Since we are talking about two events that happen at the same time, it is best to use the word “as” to link them together.

The word “with” forces writers to use gerunds or awkward phrases like “with a sharp slowing of” or “with the piling up of.” So let’s eliminate answers C, D, and E right away because they don’t use the best word to connect the two events.

This leaves us with only A and B to choose from, which should make this an easier choice! Let’s focus on A and B, and look closely for any glaring problems in one or the other:

(A) unsold goods piled up on store shelves as consumer spending is slowed sharply

Okay, so I already see a red flag in this answer! This sentence is discussing events that all happened in the past, yet this sentence uses the present tense “is slowed.” This answer is INCORRECT because it uses an improper verb tense!

(B) unsold goods were piling up on store shelves as consumer spending slowed sharply

This leaves us with only one option left, and it is the CORRECT answer. Answer B uses past tense verbs throughout (“were” and “slowed”), and it clearly shows that both events were happening at the same time.

There you go - option B is the correct answer!


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Originally posted by EMPOWERgmatVerbal on 23 Jun 2018, 15:01.
Last edited by EMPOWERgmatVerbal on 13 Jul 2018, 11:00, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Commerce Department reported that the nation's economy grew at a  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jun 2018, 08:41
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Bunuel wrote:
The Commerce Department reported that the nation's economy grew at a brisk annual pace of 3.7 percent in the second quarter, but that while businesses were expanding their production, unsold goods piled up on store shelves as consumer spending is slowed sharply.


A. unsold goods piled up on store shelves as consumer spending is slowed sharply

B. unsold goods were piling up on store shelves as consumer spending slowed sharply

C. unsold goods had piled up on store shelves with a sharp slowing of consumer spending

D. consumer spending was slowing sharply, with the piling up of unsold goods on store shelves

E. consumer spending has slowed sharply, with unsold goods piling up on store shelves

https://www.nytimes.com/1994/07/30/us/economy-is-up-3.7-but-signs-hint-of-slowing.html





The action of reporting has been done in the past tense

Option A:

It uses "is slowly" which is incorrect as the sentence has been set in past tense
Also there is parallelsim issue in the expression
unsold goods piled up on store shelves as consumer spending is slowed sharply

Noun phrase(unsold goods piled up on store shelves) is not parallel to Clause here (Subj+Consumer spending,Verb -is slowed)

Option B:Correct choice

Option C:Incorrect usage of past perfect 'HAD'
Option D:Its the other way round...The piling of goods led to to the consumer prices rising sharply.
Option E:
1.For reason as in option D
2.consumer spending has slowed sharply--Incorrect tense..It imparts its effect in present as well..whereas the entire sentence is set in past tense.


Please Give Kudos if it helps !!
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Re: The Commerce Department reported that the nation's economy grew at a  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jun 2018, 09:35
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+1 for B.

A. unsold goods piled up on store shelves as consumer spending is slowed sharply

B. unsold goods were piling up on store shelves as consumer spending slowed sharply --> Correct

C. unsold goods had piled up on store shelves with a sharp slowing of consumer spending

D. consumer spending was slowing sharply, with the piling up of unsold goods on store shelves

E. consumer spending has slowed sharply, with unsold goods piling up on store shelves
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Re: The Commerce Department reported that the nation's economy grew at a  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jun 2018, 09:45
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The Commerce Department reported that the nation's economy grew at a brisk annual pace of 3.7 percent in the second quarter, but that while businesses were expanding their production, unsold goods piled up on store shelves as consumer spending is slowed sharply.

(A) unsold goods piled up on store shelves as consumer spending is slowed sharply

(B) unsold goods were piling up on store shelves as consumer spending slowed sharply

(C) unsold goods had piled up on store shelves with a sharp slowing of consumer spending

(D) consumer spending was slowing sharply, with the piling up of unsold goods on store shelves

(E) consumer spending has slowed sharply, with unsold goods piling up on store shelves

Answer B.

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Re: The Commerce Department reported that the nation's economy grew at a  [#permalink]

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The Commerce Department reported that the nation's economy grew at a brisk annual pace of 3.7 percent in the second quarter, but that while businesses were expanding their production, unsold goods piled up on store shelves as consumer spending is slowed sharply.

The intended meaning of the sentence conveys economic growth and in contrast with some changes in business process.
The entire discussion is about a quarter in the past.
Notice the use of "as" - it has been used to state that both the even happened together sometime in the past.
Correct structure would be - were expanding....were piling up.....as ....slowed


(A) unsold goods piled up on store shelves as consumer spending is slowed sharply
piled up - simple past
is slowed - simple present.
Use of Verb tenses are incorrect.

(B) unsold goods were piling up on store shelves as consumer spending slowed sharply
were piling up - past continuous
slowed - past tense.
this is what we need.
This coveys the intended meaning. Hence Correct.


(C) unsold goods had piled up on store shelves with a sharp slowing of consumer spending
use of past perfect is incorrect.

(D) consumer spending was slowing sharply, with the piling up of unsold goods on store shelves
was slowing is incorrect. And it doesn't covey intended meaning. Incorrect

(E) consumer spending has slowed sharply, with unsold goods piling up on store shelves
pilling up. ...is incorrect. It should be were piling up.
It also has meaning error.


Hence B is the CORRECT Choice
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Re: The Commerce Department reported that the nation's economy grew at a  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jul 2018, 08:04
EMPOWERgmatVerbal wrote:
Hello Everyone!

Let’s take a closer look at this question so we can narrow it down to the correct answer. After taking a quick glance over each of the answers, two major differences jumped out to me that we must address:

1. Linking the two events with the words “as” or “with”
2. The verb “slow”: is slowed/slowed/slowing/was slowing/has slowed

Which item would eliminate the most answers quickly? Number 1 - using “with” or “as” to link together both events. No matter which one you choose, it will knock off either 2 or 3 answers immediately, giving you a better chance of finding the right answer!

Since we are talking about two events that happen at the same time, it is best to use the word “as” to link them together. The word “with” forces writers to use gerunds or awkward phrases like “with a sharp slowing of” or “with the piling up of.” So let’s eliminate answers C, D, and E right away because they don’t use the best word to connect the two events.

This leaves us with only A and B to choose from, which should make this an easy choice! Let’s focus on A and B, and look closely for any glaring problems in one or the other:

(A) unsold goods piled up on store shelves as consumer spending is slowed sharply

Okay, so I already see a red flag in this answer! This sentence is discussing events that all happened in the past, yet this sentence uses the present tense “is slowed.” This answer is INCORRECT because it uses an improper verb tense!

(B) unsold goods were piling up on store shelves as consumer spending slowed sharply

This leaves us with only one option left, and it is the CORRECT answer. Answer B uses past tense verbs throughout (“were” and “slowed”), and it clearly shows that both events were happening at the same time.


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In E, is the only error the fact that it uses "with" instead of as? what about "consumer spending has slowed sharply" part of E, is that okay?
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Re: The Commerce Department reported that the nation's economy grew at a  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jul 2018, 10:36
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In E, is the only error the fact that it uses "with" instead of as? what about "consumer spending has slowed sharply" part of E, is that okay?[/quote]

has slowed
sharply wasn't right here. The verb has slowed suggests a process that occurred in the recent past and impinges on the present, but this is not necessarily in "the second quarter". The verb tense does not match the the verb tense were expanding in the While-clause.
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Re: The Commerce Department reported that the nation's economy grew at a  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jul 2018, 11:20
vannj wrote:
In E, is the only error the fact that it uses "with" instead of as? what about "consumer spending has slowed sharply" part of E, is that okay?


has slowed
sharply wasn't right here. The verb has slowed suggests a process that occurred in the recent past and impinges on the present, but this is not necessarily in "the second quarter". The verb tense does not match the the verb tense were expanding in the While-clause.[/quote]

Thank you
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Re: The Commerce Department reported that the nation's economy grew at a  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jul 2018, 12:13
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Hello!

Thank you for your question, oasis90!

Here's the original question, in case others want to follow along:

In E, is the only error the fact that it uses "with" instead of as? what about "consumer spending has slowed sharply" part of E, is that okay?


You are absolutely right - that's not the only problem with option E. In fact, incorrect options on the GMAT often have more than one problem with them. Sometimes, we can rule out incorrect options from different angles, and that's okay! We don't have to catch ALL of the problems with each option - if we catch an option that has a glaring problem, we toss that option aside and move on to finding the correct one.

I chose to start with "as" vs."with" because it's easy to spot during a simple glance over the options, and it is even easier to narrow it down to fewer options. If you wanted to, you could start by ruling out options that use the wrong form of the verb "to slow." We know these are past tense events, so you could start by ruling out options that don't use past tense correctly:

(A) unsold goods piled up on store shelves as consumer spending is slowed sharply --> WRONG (uses present tense)
(B) unsold goods were piling up on store shelves as consumer spending slowed sharply --> OK (uses past tense)
(C) unsold goods had piled up on store shelves with a sharp slowing of consumer spending --> WRONG (uses a gerund instead of a past tense verb; when you have a past perfect "had piled up," you need a past tense event that uses plain past tense to go with it to show these are two events that happen in a particular order)
(D) consumer spending was slowing sharply, with the piling up of unsold goods on store shelves --> OK (uses past tense)
(E) consumer spending has slowed sharply, with unsold goods piling up on store shelves --> WRONG (uses present tense)

Either way you attack this GMAT question, you will still end up knocking out answer E because it has more than one problem with it.

If I were to continue with this, I would go back to the "with" vs. "as" issue, and that would still leave me tossing out option D. Even if we attack this question from different angles, we can still get to option B is the correct option.

I hope this helps! There is not a singular "right way" to answer a GMAT question, as long as it eventually leads to the right answer! :cool:
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Re: The Commerce Department reported that the nation's economy grew at a  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jul 2018, 04:13
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Hello Verbal Experts,

Please explain why option 'D' is not right. What possible errors option D has?

Thanks in advance!
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Re: The Commerce Department reported that the nation's economy grew at a  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jul 2018, 04:16
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Re: The Commerce Department reported that the nation's economy grew at a  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jul 2018, 04:27
Bunuel wrote:
XYZABCABC wrote:
Hello Verbal Experts,

Please explain why option 'D' is not right. What possible errors option D has?

Thanks in advance!


I think it's explained several times already. Please re-read the discussion again.


Is is just because of usage of "with"?

Here, "expanding" and "slowing" are parallel. Right?
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Re: The Commerce Department reported that the nation's economy grew at a  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jul 2018, 08:48
Bunuel wrote:
The Commerce Department reported that the nation's economy grew at a brisk annual pace of 3.7 percent in the second quarter, but that while businesses were expanding their production, unsold goods piled up on store shelves as consumer spending is slowed sharply.

(A) unsold goods piled up on store shelves as consumer spending is slowed sharply

(B) unsold goods were piling up on store shelves as consumer spending slowed sharply

(C) unsold goods had piled up on store shelves with a sharp slowing of consumer spending

(D) consumer spending was slowing sharply, with the piling up of unsold goods on store shelves

(E) consumer spending has slowed sharply, with unsold goods piling up on store shelves



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chetan2u

Can you please throw more light on why Option D and E are wrong.

I am really stuck at these options. Please help!
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Re: The Commerce Department reported that the nation's economy grew at a  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jul 2018, 09:35
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XYZABCABC wrote:
Bunuel wrote:
The Commerce Department reported that the nation's economy grew at a brisk annual pace of 3.7 percent in the second quarter, but that while businesses were expanding their production, unsold goods piled up on store shelves as consumer spending is slowed sharply.

(A) unsold goods piled up on store shelves as consumer spending is slowed sharply

(B) unsold goods were piling up on store shelves as consumer spending slowed sharply

(C) unsold goods had piled up on store shelves with a sharp slowing of consumer spending

(D) consumer spending was slowing sharply, with the piling up of unsold goods on store shelves

(E) consumer spending has slowed sharply, with unsold goods piling up on store shelves



GMATNinja
daagh
chetan2u

Can you please throw more light on why Option D and E are wrong.

I am really stuck at these options. Please help!


While businesses were expanding,.....
So we are talking of two SIMULTANEOUS actions. Thus the second action should parallel the first and should start the clause.
We can PARALLEL businesses with unsold goods, but businesses with consumer spending - may not be correct in the context here.
Although the verb tense is correct in D - was slowing, the sequence is not correct..
Unsold goods were piling up as consumer spending was slowing and not the other way as the choice D conveys. Consumer spending lowered with piling up of ...

Choice E is wrong in tense usage ..
Present perfect HAS is wrong and not PARALLEL with earlier verb.
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New post 26 Jul 2018, 09:46
chetan2u wrote:
XYZABCABC wrote:
Bunuel wrote:
The Commerce Department reported that the nation's economy grew at a brisk annual pace of 3.7 percent in the second quarter, but that while businesses were expanding their production, unsold goods piled up on store shelves as consumer spending is slowed sharply.

(A) unsold goods piled up on store shelves as consumer spending is slowed sharply

(B) unsold goods were piling up on store shelves as consumer spending slowed sharply

(C) unsold goods had piled up on store shelves with a sharp slowing of consumer spending

(D) consumer spending was slowing sharply, with the piling up of unsold goods on store shelves

(E) consumer spending has slowed sharply, with unsold goods piling up on store shelves



GMATNinja
daagh
chetan2u

Can you please throw more light on why Option D and E are wrong.

I am really stuck at these options. Please help!


While businesses were expanding,.....
So we are talking of two SIMULTANEOUS actions. Thus the second action should parallel the first and should start the clause.
We can PARALLEL businesses with unsold goods, but businesses with consumer spending - may not be correct in the context here.
Although the verb tense is correct in D - was slowing, the sequence is not correct..
Unsold goods were piling up as consumer spending was slowing and not the other way as the choice D conveys. Consumer spending lowered with piling up of ...

Choice E is wrong in tense usage ..
Present perfect HAS is wrong and not PARALLEL with earlier verb.



Thank you so much chetan2u for throwing light on the "sequence" thing. Makes the whole point clear!

So, can I say that Option D is grammatically correct but logically doesn't convey the intended meaning?
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Re: The Commerce Department reported that the nation's economy grew at a  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Nov 2018, 15:31
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Bunuel wrote:
The Commerce Department reported that the nation's economy grew at a brisk annual pace of 3.7 percent in the second quarter, but that while businesses were expanding their production, unsold goods piled up on store shelves as consumer spending is slowed sharply.

(A) unsold goods piled up on store shelves as consumer spending is slowed sharply

(B) unsold goods were piling up on store shelves as consumer spending slowed sharply

(C) unsold goods had piled up on store shelves with a sharp slowing of consumer spending

(D) consumer spending was slowing sharply, with the piling up of unsold goods on store shelves

(E) consumer spending has slowed sharply, with unsold goods piling up on store shelves

https://www.nytimes.com/1994/07/30/us/economy-is-up-3.7-but-signs-hint-of-slowing.html

In a report that cheered the Administration and financial markets for different reasons, the Commerce Department said today that the nation's economy grew at a brisk annual pace of 3.7 percent in the second quarter. But the report also showed that while businesses were expanding their production, unsold goods were piling up on store shelves as consumer spending slowed sharply.

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GMATNinja, need your help here. I've read all the explanation but still confused why D is wrong.

Quote:
(D) consumer spending was slowing sharply, with the piling up of unsold goods on store shelves


in D : "with the pilling up of...." explains (or shows a result of) "a slower consumer spending". For me this relation still makes sense.
If we connect also with the previous statement: "while business expanding...", we can see the correlation also.

Wdyt?
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Re: The Commerce Department reported that the nation's economy grew at a  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Nov 2018, 00:56
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septwibowo wrote:
Bunuel wrote:
The Commerce Department reported that the nation's economy grew at a brisk annual pace of 3.7 percent in the second quarter, but that while businesses were expanding their production, unsold goods piled up on store shelves as consumer spending is slowed sharply.

(A) unsold goods piled up on store shelves as consumer spending is slowed sharply

(B) unsold goods were piling up on store shelves as consumer spending slowed sharply

(C) unsold goods had piled up on store shelves with a sharp slowing of consumer spending

(D) consumer spending was slowing sharply, with the piling up of unsold goods on store shelves

(E) consumer spending has slowed sharply, with unsold goods piling up on store shelves

https://www.nytimes.com/1994/07/30/us/economy-is-up-3.7-but-signs-hint-of-slowing.html

In a report that cheered the Administration and financial markets for different reasons, the Commerce Department said today that the nation's economy grew at a brisk annual pace of 3.7 percent in the second quarter. But the report also showed that while businesses were expanding their production, unsold goods were piling up on store shelves as consumer spending slowed sharply.

SC01059


GMATNinja, need your help here. I've read all the explanation but still confused why D is wrong.

Quote:
(D) consumer spending was slowing sharply, with the piling up of unsold goods on store shelves


in D : "with the pilling up of...." explains (or shows a result of) "a slower consumer spending". For me this relation still makes sense.
If we connect also with the previous statement: "while business expanding...", we can see the correlation also.

Wdyt?



Hi, let me try to explain this.

As per the original sentence, two things happened simultaneously.

1. Businesses were expanding their production
2. Unsold Goods piled up on the store shelves.

Notice the very important use of "as" here. This is trying to explain the reason why #2 happened. unsold goods piled up on store shelves as[because] consumer spending is slowed sharply.

Hence the sequence is -
1. Businesses were expanding their production
2. Unsold Goods piled up on the store shelves. [because] 3. consumer spending is slowed sharply

Option D uses "with" that again states #2 and #3 came up together or they happened together, and that is not the intended meaning as per original sentence.
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Re: The Commerce Department reported that the nation's economy grew at a  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Nov 2018, 05:09
Bunuel wrote:
The Commerce Department reported that the nation's economy grew at a brisk annual pace of 3.7 percent in the second quarter, but that while businesses were expanding their production, unsold goods piled up on store shelves as consumer spending is slowed sharply.


I think there is a typo in the non-underlined portion of the sentence. Bunuel , will you please double check the OG? I'm guessing the "that" just needs to be removed.

Thanks,
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Re: The Commerce Department reported that the nation's economy grew at a   [#permalink] 15 Nov 2018, 05:09

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