CHICAGO May 20 Caterpillar Inc said on
Monday that retail demand for its construction and mining
equipment continued to be sluggish in April, though the sales
picture appeared to be improving in almost every market outside
The Peoria, Illinois-based company said worldwide dealer
sales of its earth-moving machines fell 9 percent in April from
the prior year.
That represented an improvement from March, when sales were
down 11 percent, and February, when sales were down 13 percent.
The worldwide decline was led by continued weakness in Asia,
where dealer sales were down 20 percent in April, compared with
a decline of 24 percent in March and a decline of 26 percent in
North America took a turn for the worse in April, with sales
falling 18 percent, compared with a drop of 11 percent in March
and 12 percent in February.
Latin America continued to be a bright spot for Caterpillar.
Dealer sales of machines in that market were up 28 percent in
April, compared with a rise of 12 percent in March and a rise of
3 percent in February.
In afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange,
Caterpillar shares were up about 0.4 percent at $88.05.
Caterpillar's monthly sales figures are based on unaudited
reports provided to the company by its network of independent