Caterpillar's Sales Report
For the three months ending the month of May this year Caterpillar machine sales rose 11% worldwide from the same period this time last year. Additionally sales to Asia saw a substantial increase of 38%, while at the same time North American sales were up 15%. However the report demonstrated that the economic recovery in Europe may be trailing the rest of the world since Caterpillar's sales to the continent saw a decline of 8%.
In a separate note the Wall Street Journal said that it was the first period of global growth for Caterpillar since September 2008, and the first period of growth for the US since 2006. However it must be noted that it unclear as to how much this increase in sales is as a direct result of the US government stimulus program, a sizeable amount of which is still unspent.
Despite this strong set of figures analyst caution against reading to much into this, since the growth in North American sales is from an extreme low bottom, which saw an 80% decline from its 2006 peak. Furthermore the report lowered its 2010 outlook for the US housing starts by 20% from 1m to 800,000 citing a weak labor market was the main reason for some lingering pessimism about the US recovery.
Caterpillars shares closed up 90c or 1.39% at 65.85
(for a more detailed overview of this report, place the mouse cursor over the 'Caterpillar's Sales Report' title at the top of this post for a direct link to the report)