Caterpillar, Inc.’s (CAT - Free Report) global retail sales for the three-month period ending Oct 2016 plunged 12%. Despite remaining in the negative territory, the decline rate has somewhat improved from the 18% dip in September, 17% in August and 19% in July. So far this year, Caterpillar’s monthly sales have posted an average decline of 15%. Caterpillar's sales growth has been in the red for an unprecedented stretch of 47 consecutive months.
This current phase is much longer than the 19-month long stretch spanning from Oct 2008 to Apr 2010 wherein the company had suffered the same fate due to recession. A prolonged global slowdown in the mining sector continues to weigh on the world’s largest manufacturer of mining and construction equipment.
As per the company’s Oct 2016 sales report, overall performance was dragged down by a 24% slump in Latin America. Sales fell 16% in North America and 14% in the Europe, Africa and Middle East (EAME). The Asia Pacific region was the only bright spot, which saw a 12% rise in sales, a far better performance than the rise in lower-single digits in the past two months.
Overall sales at Resource Industries, which continues to bear the brunt of weak mining spending due to lower commodity prices, were down 24%. EAME sales witnessed the maximum decline of 34%, followed by a 31% drop in North America and 20% drop in Latin America. Again, the Asia Pacific region was the exception, recording an 8% increase.
Sales in Construction Industries decreased 8% year over year, primarily hit by the slump in Latin America (26%). Sales in North America and EAME were down 12% and 7%, respectively. On the contrary, the Asia-Pacific regions recorded an increase of 13%.
Sales in the Energy & Transportation segment fell 28% mainly due to a 33% plunge in the Power Generation sector. Sales in the Transportation sector declined 32% followed by the 29% decrease in the Industrial sector. Further, the Oil & Gas sector declined 21%.
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