Samuel Allen, chairman and CEO of Deere & Co., said rental rates for equipment are steadily climbing from their lows of 2008 and 2009, a leading indicator that contractors are ready to buy.
"Construction is starting to make a comeback," he said.
Allen spoke during a visit to Yellowhouse Machinery Co. in Sand Springs, Okla., last week.
Equipment makers such as John Deere and Caterpillar are often seen as bellwethers for the economy, and Allen said various industries are finally starting to resume making purchases.
"There's been good improvement this year and last year," he said. "Things are improving."