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Caterpillar Retail Sales Have Never Been Worse: With no Industrial Equipment, can no Industry be Far Behind?

Jan. 27, 2016 (EIRNS)—Global construction and agricultural equipment producer Caterpillar (CAT) reported its latest monthly retail sales statistics today, and the numbers have never been worse, Zero Hedge’s Tyler Durden commented. Not only is the fourth, feeble and final "dead CAT" bounce in U.S. sales officially over, with December U.S. retail sales tumbling -10% year-on-year, after "only" a 5% decline in November and hugging the flatline for the past few months, but sales elsewhere around the globe were a complete debacle: Asia/Pacific (mostly China) was down 21%; EAME (Europe, Africa, Middle East) dropping 12%, and Latin America (i.e., Brazil) continuing its free fall, dropping by 36%, but global retail sales just posted a huge, 16% drop in the past month, tied for the worst annual decline since the financial crisis. Putting the annual drop in context, CAT sales dropped 12% a year ago, another 9% in 2013, and 1% in 2012, or four consecutive years of declines, Tyler Durden reported in Zero Hedge.

Caterpillar has now suffered a record 37 months—more than three years—of consecutive declining annual retail sales — something unprecedented in company history, and set to surpass the "only" 19 months of decline during the great financial crisis by a factor of two in January! Perhaps while debating whether the U.S. is, or is not, in a recession, one should also ask how much worse the global industrial depression will get? c