Caterpillar’s Oberhelman “guardedly optimistic”

By Chris Sleight04 March 2014

Caterpillar chairman & CEO, Doug Oberhelman.

Caterpillar chairman & CEO, Doug Oberhelman.

Caterpillar chairman & CEO, Doug Oberhelman has said he is guardedly optimistic on prospects for the global construction equipment industry this year. Speaking at the ConExpo-Con/Agg exhibition, he singled-out North America as one of the most promising markets at present.

On North America he said the region was, “Showing the best growth signs for March in four years.” Mr Oberhelman highlighted the continued growth of the residential construction sector as one of the key drivers of growth.

On Europe he said the market was, “Somewhat better, coming back from a very deep hole.” He added, “Most of the bad news is behind us.”

He sounded a similar note of cautious optimism on China, saying the country equipment market was recovering, but he added, “I should not expect China to be a big boom, as we have seen in the past.” He acknowledged liquidity problems that have emerged in recent years, but said the country, “Will not fall off a cliff.”

In the Middle East he cited the high oil price as a driver that was seeing the market, “Doing very, very well,” and he also said business prospects in Africa were good. On Latin America he was less up-beat, highlighting the slow-down in Economic growth in Brazil.

In Summary, Mr Oberhelman said, “It is a mixed bag, with North America the strongest growth prospect. I am guardedly optimistic, but the global economy is a fragile thing."

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