was the only downward trend / the only item that followed a downward trend. [collocation]

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inertia

Senior Member
Chinese - Mandarin
Dear native speakers,

The spending of worker salary was the only downward trend among all in the university during 1980 to 2000.

The sentence was written in response to a writing task based on data of a university's annual spending over 20 years.
There were 3 categories of data, namely teaching facilities, salary and books.

I think it is wrong to say "something is a certain trend", so I think the above sentence is wrong.

I would correct it as: The spending on worker salary was the only item that followed a downward trend...

Am I correct?
Other ways of correcting the sentence are also welcome.

Regards,
inertia
 
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