Global infrastructure projects are up and so are Caterpillar's sales, Chief Executive Doug Oberhelman told CNBC Wednesday.
"The world is open to modern progress. People want things. They want roads, they want bridges, electricity, things we have here in the most developed country in the world," he said. "We’re seeing the recession behind us globally and investments starting to occur in infrastructure worldwide."
Caterpillar's "retail, in the dirt," tractor deliveries have increased in the last few months, Oberhelman said.
But with improving global conditions come a jump in competition from Brazil, India, Japan, Europe, other U.S. companies including Deere, and especially China. Oberhelman said 50 Chinese companies alone were in his face during a recent trade show in Las Vegas.