June 21,2012

Caterpillar Inc. has entered into an agreement with Westport Inc.who is a global leader in natural gas powered engines to offer natural gas engines in their line of heavy equipment and specialized mining equipment,the company is going to absorb all R and D costs and production is expected to begin in about five years,Caterpillar feels that by offering natural gas as an option it will give them a large advantage over their competitors.The five largest heavy equipment manufacturers ,first quarter sales was 14% more than the first quarter of 2011,2011 was not a real good year but any increase is better than not.

One bright spot of our slowing economy is the price of gasoline at the pump is going down,currently the average from coast to coast is $3.47,that is not what the experts predicted,if you recall everyone was saying that the price of gas was going to slowly climb through the summer month,s and it was predicted that we might be paying $5.00 by the time the November elections were here,for what ever reason or reasons that did not happen,the thirty day spot price right now is $80.00 per barrel and the average price of gas never got over $4.00 per gallon,with production at high and consumption waning and the reserves are at a twenty one year high their is no reason to expect the price to go up,but as the speculators and ourselves have found out in the past it is extremely hard to predict the price of a gallon of gas more than a week into the future.

Last month TX had an six percent increase in their heavy equipment ,heavy construction and mining,that is 48,300 jobs that was the largest increase of any state,out of the largest 337 metropolitan areas 171 of them had an increase in their employment ratio ,119 saw a decrease and the rest stayed about the same.The Fed chairman said that he did not see any hope of it getting much better in an election year,especially a presidential election year,this is the last four months of a four year election cycle and every house member,one third of the senate and the President are out campaigning and if they are not out campaigning then they are in campaigning,but regardless right now they are all in reelection mode all of them, As a side note the Fed did lower the 10 year Treasury note and the thirty year fixed mortgage rate runs about the same,they are currently at 3.71% that is the lowest its been since1957

Calgary Alberta is still in dire need of qualified employees,the oil fields are not even running at fifty percent capacity,all skilled labor is needed graduates from a heavy equipment school or an employee who worked through an approved on-the-job training program is considered skilled labor ,currently the lowest skilled labor is earning between $50,000 and $100,000 per year and that does not include any overtime.

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