CHICAGO Caterpillar Inc (CAT.N) released unaudited dealer sales data on Friday showing sluggish demand for its machinery and engine products, suggesting its quarterly earnings - due out early on Monday - were unlikely to beat analysts' expectations.
The world's largest maker of construction and mining equipment, said global dealer sales of its yellow earth-moving machines fell 9 percent year-over-year in December.
While negative, that was a slight improvement over November, when dealers said global equipment sales for the Peoria, Illinois-based company were down 12 percent from a year earlier.
Equipment sales were particularly sluggish in the Asia Pacific region, where dealer sales slumped 19 percent in December.
Caterpillar said global dealer sales of its gas turbines, diesel engines and generators, meanwhile, were down 6 percent year-over-year in December. In November, those sales of so-called power systems were down 5 percent.
Caterpillar sells its equipment and engines through a worldwide network of more than 200 independent dealers.
(Reporting by James B. Kelleher; Editing by Bernadette Baum)
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