annual growth of [over 7 percent]

What do you think the part of "over" is?

Is "over" considered the preposition of the object "7 percent"?

1. over [7 percent]

Or, is "over" considered the adverb modifying the adjective "7" in front of the noun "percent"?

1. [over 7] percent

Which one is right?

• You probably should not be thinking of seven as an adjective. It’s a number. This question does not provide any background research, and it is only soliciting opinions. – tchrist Apr 19 '15 at 14:22
• OED lists it as a preposition in definition 13 under over, prep. and conj. - In excess of, above, more than (a stated amount or number). But I must say it "feels" more like an adjective in the cited context. I'd be happier calling it a preposition in, say, Annual growth over the past decade has been [under/over/almost] 7%. – FumbleFingers Apr 19 '15 at 14:31
• John Lawler has said: Calling something an "adverb" is a confession of ignorance. Mind you, 'secondary modifier of quantifier' is quite a mouthful. – Edwin Ashworth Apr 19 '15 at 15:05
• @EdwinAshworth If cardinals are substantives, and they probably are, then that would make most of their modifiers adjectival. But that leads to oddities like somehow promoting adverbs in “Almost a thousand are ready” or prepositions in “Over a thousand is enough”. I haven’t thought about this much, but it is odd. Note though the shift in number. – tchrist Apr 19 '15 at 16:32
• Notice that both versions involve the preposition "over" (not the adverb "over"). For in both versions, the preposition "over" has a complement. For version #1, the preposition phrase is "over [7 percent]" and "7 percent" is the complement. For version #2, the preposition phrase is "over 7" and "7" is the complement. Your example is probably involving version #2. -- If you don't end up getting a detailed enough of a grammatical explanation here in EL&U land, then perhaps consider asking your question again in ELL land for a fuller grammatical explanation. :) – F.E. Apr 20 '15 at 20:30

According to Oxford Dictionaries Online, over is here used as a preposition, not as an adverb:

(sense 3 in preposition)

over 200,000 people live in the area

more than, above, in excess of, upwards of

Over is used an adverb in totally different situations: