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Caterpillar Predicts Growth of Construction Industry

Mon September 08, 2003 - National Edition

PEORIA, IL (AP) Caterpillar Inc. predicts the construction industry will grow by nearly 30 percent over the next decade as more roads and houses are built to keep pace with an expanding world population.

"Growth in this industry is inevitable,’ Caterpillar group president Gerald Shaheen told approximately 100 industry analysts during a daylong conference at the company’s demonstration facilities in Tinaja Hills, AZ.

President and chief executive officer Glen A. Barton said Caterpillar plans to achieve $30 billion in sales and revenues this decade, up from $20.15 billion in 2002. He said the bulk of increase will come from sales of machines and engines.

"We are taking aggressive steps in the right direction to assure our continued competitive leadership in today’s global marketplace,’ Barton said.

The Peoria-based heavy equipment maker said U.S. housing is expected to grow by 1.7 million units a year over the next decade, and the nation’s highways will continue to add nearly 3 percent more vehicles every year.

Infrastructure needs are even greater abroad, particularly in developing countries, said Donald Western, vice president of Caterpillar’s track-type tractors division.

"If any of you came here with the idea that the construction industry has matured and cannot grow, we will dispel those notions here today,’ Shaheen told analysts.