GE’s international CEO makes some encouraging noises:
FT: General Electric has started to see the first “glimmers of hope” in the world economy, according to a senior executive at the US conglomerate.
Nani Beccalli, who as chief executive of GE International is in charge of all its business outside the US, said he saw several encouraging bits of economic data from round the world.
These included “signs of life” in the US and European retail sectors and improving profits among European banks as foreign competitors leave the market.
Mr Beccalli said: “The first glimmers of hope are there. This is the inversion of trends, which for a long period have been going down. The glimmers weren’t there two months ago”…
Mr Beccalli gleaned much of the information from the two-day ringround he conducts each month with the GE official in charge of each country in which the US company operates.
He pointed to positive data, including the recent rise in the Baltic dry shipping index, which acts as a proxy for global trade, and to increasing housing sales in the US in February.
But he added: “This is not the light at the end of the tunnel but rather some little sparkles.”
If he’s pointing to February housing sales, it might actually be a hallucination. In housing, we saw a slowdown of deterioration, but not an “inversion of trend.”