Despite Caterpillar’s worst wave of layoffs since the early 1980s, the company’s CEO remains optimistic on the global economy, although there are immediate bumps ahead.
“As we look at 2009, we’re forecasting our sales [revenue] will drop from 51 billion to 40 billion,” said James Owens, the CEO of Caterpillar .
“We’re looking at the ’05-’06 level of sales. I’m still pretty optimistic on the global economy on a long-term basis if we play our cards right through this recession.”
- Read about Caterpillar's layoffs and earnings here.
Two keys in the global economic recovery are the United States and China, he said. Their respective stimulus packages could be a significant driver of positive GDP growth and creating demand for commodities, he said. “It’s a virtuous circle, and we need to really nurture it,” he said.
Isolationist economic policy would be disastrous, he said. “We’ve got to keep our markets open if we expect other countries to keep their markets open,” he said.