Caterpillar's great depression ended three months ago, when in March following a record 51 consecutive months of annual declines, its global retail sales posted the first, if modest, monthly increase growing by 1% on the back of a surge in Chinese and other Asia/Pac sales. Since then the trend has accelerated, and in May the company reported that Asia Pac sales soared by 49%, the highest since April 2011, while maybe more notably, retail sales in the US rose by 2%, for the first time since May 2015.

The result is that CAT's global sales appear to have put the 4+ year depression in the read view mirror, and are slowly levitating higher, although like during the 2011/2012 downturn, it all depends on how "hard" China's economic slowdown will be over the coming year.

Finally broken down by component:

  • Power Gen: -10%, after down -2% in April
  • Industrial: +4%, after down -11%
  • Transportation: +9%, after down -3%
  • Oil & Gas: +13%, after down -2%

And while construction industries (thanks China housing) were broadly higher, up 11% in May, after rising 8% in April, resources - i.e., E&P and others, continue to languish, and were down 3% in May, which however was an improvement from the 19% drop in both March and April as commodity producers appear to be finally spending more on capex.