On Wednesday, economic bellwether Caterpillar reported disappointing earnings for the second quarter and said growth would be much lower than expected for the second half of the year. Later in the day, about 50 miles from Caterpillar’s corporate headquarters in Peoria, IL, President Obama will give a speech taking “credit” for the improving economy.
The company, the world’s largest manufacturer of mining and construction equipment, is seen as a proxy for the overall world economy. It reported earnings of $1.45 a share for the quarter. Last year the company earned $2.54 a share. Analysts were expecting earnings of $1.68 a share. They company also reported lower revenue than expected.
“World economic growth slowed in the first half of the year, and we are revising our growth estimates downwards,” said its earnings report. “Although we expect some improvement in the second half, the improvement will be less than previously expected. Currently, we expect that world economic growth for 2013 will be a little over 2 percent, slightly slower than in 2012.”
Throughout the four years Obama has been in office, analysts and economists often expected improvement in the economy at some point in the future. It was the hope they could believe in.