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Transitions from an economic briefing: free business writing class

In English writing, writers use transition words to make their writing better by giving it "flow". In this exercise, you'll read an excerpt from a March 2002 Economic briefing on Mexico and see how the writer used transitions.

The following transitions have been removed from this paragraph: also, in addition, finally, first. See if you can determine where the author used these transitions. Type the correct transitions into each box in the paragraph.

In March, economic activity contracted 3.5% compared to the same month last year blasting market expectations, which had suggested economic growth of 1.2%. The March reading comes on the heels of a much more moderate contraction of 0.4% in February, which had marked the third consecutive month of improving growth rates. A number of reasons explain the dismal economic performance in the third month of the year. , since Easter was in March, as opposed to April last year, the month had a full four working days less when compared to last year. , the agricultural sector, whose double-digit growth had boosted overall economic activity last month dropped slightly in March. Nevertheless, even based on a seasonally adjusted basis, economic activity fell 0.4% in March over the preceding month, which represents a marked deterioration compared to the 0.5% growth registered in February. Next to seasonal factors, the main reason behind the low March turnout was a severe slump in industrial production, which plummeted 7.6% on an annual basis (February: -1.8% year-on-year). , services deteriorated, contracting 1.5% (February: -0.6% yoy), owing to weaker external trade, lower domestic commercial activity and a decline in the hotel services industry. (retrieved June 27, 2004 from

Many of you may have put finally in the last blank. While that is not grammatically incorrect, it does significantly change the meaning of this passage. Try reading my explanation and asking any questions you have on the message board thread for this class. Or talk about some of the difficult business English vocabulary and start figuring out how these words are used.

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Determining rates of economic growth is difficult for most of us. I have enough trouble handling my own finances. Accountants are generally the best qualified professionals to help people "keep the books" or keep track of money.

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