Retail Sales Up in January Despite Bad Weather
Last month's snowstorms surprisingly didn't hinder purchasing by consumers, who “are in better shape than feared and have begun the year with a return to more normal buying habits,” the Greenwood Times reported. General retail sales rose 4.2% over the previous month according to Retail Analytics Inc.
“It appears that consumers are feeling a little bit more confident about their financial situation and the economy 1 ,” said Jordan Smith, president of Retail Analytics Inc. “They're coming out of hibernation.”
The Financial Street Journal reported that the International Council of Retail Centers “expects the industry to post a 2.3% same-store sales increase in February. Also, national holidays later this month are likely to help increase sales. So might tax refunds in March.” This will be good news for first quarter roundups.
Syngas Services expressed caution, 2 , noting that despite the “modestly positive results, we remain unconvinced that this is evidence of a sustainable trend.” Syngas believes the economy is still fragile and 3 to surprise shocks. Unpredictable events such as a sudden increase in oil prices or large-scale changes in the job market could easily affect consumer spending. Furthermore, they claim consumer purchasing has slowed every second quarter for the past four years. “It's unrealistic to believe there will be a turn now.”
1. (A) in a word (B) up and down (C) day after day (D) as a whole
2. (A) therefore (B) however (C) furthermore (D) otherwise
3. (A) attainable (B) convertible (C) vulnerable (D) exhaustible
1. 本題考正確之慣用語。由於空格出現在名詞 "economy" 「經濟」之後，因此選項 (B) up and down ( 指「上下地」 ) 與 (C) day after day ( 指「日復一日」 ) 這兩個完全不搭軋的片語可先排除。選項 (A) in a word 是「總之」的意思，通常用於做總結時，因此亦與 "economy" 不相干。本題應選 (D) as a whole 「就整個而言」。
2. 本題考正確之「連接副詞」。由於在本句之前的三個段落之中提到的都是景氣、消費方面正面的消息，而本句則說 Syngas Services 公司有所保留，他們並不認為這會是持久的趨勢 ("sustainable trend") 。在二者間所需要的應是能表達「相反」概念的轉折詞。四個選項中能符合這個邏輯的只有 (B) however 「然而」。
3. 本題為單字題。選項 (A) attainable 是「可得到的」的意思；選項 (B) convertible 指的是「可轉換的」；選項 (C) vulnerable 指「易受傷的」；選項 (D) exhaustible 則是「可被用盡的」之意。由空格前的對等連接詞 "and" 及由其所連結的第一個字 "fragile" 「脆弱的」即可判斷，空格中應填入的應是能與 "fragile" 相呼應、用來描述目前之經濟狀況之 "vulnerable" 。