News of 70,000+ in layoffs today. Among these, Caterpillar’s announcement of 20,000 to be furloughed stands out. The importance of CAT’s announcement lies their role as a major player in the construction business. If the stimulus plan is all about generating economic activity via infrastructure projects then companies like CAT should be among the first beneficiaries.
These huge job cuts show that the execs at CAT don’t see any stimulus in the short term, in the US or globally. From CAT’s announcement as reproduced in the WSJ:
We expect 2009 will be the weakest year for economic growth in the postwar period. We are expecting recessionary conditions to persist in most of the world throughout the year, with no growth in the world economy.
2009 will be the weakest year since WWII. Ouch.