Caterpillar is keeping the global economy on watch

Caterpillar lowered its outlook for profit this year when it reported third-quarter earnings results on Tuesday.

The maker of large industrial equipment said it now sees 2016 earnings per share excluding restructuring costs at $3.25, down from an earlier projection of $3.55.

Because Caterpillar equipment is used in a variety of massive capital projects across the world, the company’s performance is seen as a bellwether for the global industrial economy.

“Economic weakness throughout much of the world persists and, as a result, most of our end markets remain challenged,” said CEO Doug Oberhelman in the earnings statement.

“We remain cautious as we look ahead to 2017, but are hopeful as the year unfolds we will begin to see more positive momentum.”

Caterpillar said that in 2017, the balance of risk is “likely on the negative side,” and that uncertainty around the UK vote to leave the European Union will continue. The company does not expect 2017 sales and revenue to be significantly different from 2016.

The company’s shares fell 2% in pre-market trading after earnings.

More to come …

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