"While we will not hesitate to act if we need to, we believe that actions needed for better world economic growth for the future have already begun. Brazil started easing monetary policy with lower interest rates in late 2011, and we are now seeing improvement in our business there. China has started taking action, and we expect that further monetary easing and investment initiatives in China should help economic growth in late 2012 and 2013. In the United States, we were pleased to see the passage of a transportation bill that provides our customers more clarity through fiscal 2014. We expect that with continued fiscal and monetary action the economies in Asia/Pacific, Latin America and North America can improve. It will likely take some time for the Eurozone to fix its problems, but we expect that monetary easing by the European Central Bank, a commitment to resolve debt issues and more focus on economic growth should help stabilize the situation and lead to better prospects in the future.
"I am cautiously optimistic about the world economy in 2013, very positive on the long-term prospects for global growth and excited about the role Caterpillar will play in making that growth happen. After all, the road to progress … begins with a road," Oberhelman said.
Caterpillar worldwide full-time employment was 132,825 at the end of second quarter 2012 compared with 108,175 at the end of second quarter 2011, an increase of 24,650 full-time employees. In addition, the flexible workforce increased by 4,039 for a total increase in the global workforce of 28,689.
The increase was primarily a result of acquisitions and higher sales volume. Acquisitions, primarily Bucyrus, MWM and ERA Mining Machinery Limited (Siwei), added 16,322 people to the global workforce.