Moment of truth approaching for U.S. manufacturers

By Scott Malone – How far can cost-cutting get you in a slowing economy?

That’s the question the U.S. manufacturing sector will answer over the coming weeks. Through the first half of the year, big industrial companies including General Electric Co (GE.N), United Technologies Corp (UTX.N) and Caterpillar Inc (CAT.N) notched impressive profit growth despite shaky demand, largely thanks to their success in boosting productivity.

“How our politicians handle that fiscal cliff can either be a potential opportunity or could be a disaster and I think could spark a global recession if it was handled really poorly,” Honeywell CEO Dave Cote said in an interview in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia this week. “I’d like to be more optimistic and say I don’t think that kind of a disaster will happen.” more>


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