Economy Difficult, but Signs of Firming Seen: GE CEO

The economy is still difficult, but we’re seeing some signs of firming, General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt told CNBC in an interview.

"I think that while the economy is still difficult, we’re starting to firm," said Immelt. "We’re starting to see that the sequential appliance orders are firming, we’re starting to see some signs that businesses are ready to invest again. I think in certain ways, companies have to make their own rallies right now…I think as we get more confidence in the system, we have to pull our ways out of this.”

GE is the parent company of CNBC and

GE posted better-than-expected quarterly profit last Friday, as a strong performance at its large energy operation offset declines at the GE Capital finance and NBC Universal units.

“Financial services was tough as expected, but we still made money,” said Immelt. “Some of the shorter cycles like advertising on NBC are still in a difficult phase. [But] I was quite encouraged in our infrastructure orders and how our infrastructure businesses did

Cisco's CEO John Chambers agreed and explained his position on the economy.

“You’re beginning to see governments and companies realize that [technology] is going be an area that is going to grow really well,” said Chambers. “Both technology will play a key role in the recovery, also the smart use of electricity…Recoveries don’t happen unless businesses take good business risks.”