Caterpillar executive Ed Rapp reaffirmed the company's 2009 earnings outlook at the Reuters Manufacturing Summit in Chicago. Rapp predicted the U.S. economy would begin to improve in the end of 2009 as a result of the economic-stimulus package and praised the industrial sector for reducing inventories. "I think everyone understands that it's to nobody's benefit to have an excess level of inventory," Rapp said. "So I think the industry has been responsible in that regard."
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