This is a good quick nugget.
Credit Suisse surveyed dealers of Caterpillar equipment. These dealers have a great perspective on the economy, since they sell heavy equipment to folks in a range of economic endeavours, spanning the public and private sectors.
Anyway, read what they have to say, it’s really positive:
Green Shoots Continue in US: For 2014, 95% of the dealers we surveyed are exceeding their forecasts, with the year now expected to be up 8-12% y/y versus 5-7% initially forecasted. Positive housing commentary was fairly broad-based, whereas non-residential is mixed but better on the margin. Dealers noted some signs of life in multi-family housing, automotive, hospitals, schools and data centres. Dealers also noted government spending has bottomed and energy in most cases remains solid, although mining is still dead. Dealer inventory levels are very low, and dealers are already concerned about lead times across multiple lines of equipment. Used equipment remains hard to come by, and rental is strong. Pricing remains competitive, particularly for CAT, DE, and Komatsu.
That last line about dealer inventory and pricing helps bolster the inflation thesis.