GE CEO Jeff Immelt, shown here taking part in a US-Africa Business Forum in Washington in August, says GE is experiencing a mix of conditions in different markets, but its US business has clearly improved. 'The US is probably the best we have seen it since the financial crisis,' he says. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

GE and Other US Giants See Growth Ahead

Oct. 17, 2014
General Electric reports higher earnings for the third quarter and says global growth remains solid if uneven, with the US especially strong.

NEW YORK -- US industrial giant General Electric (IW 500/7) reported higher earnings for the third quarter Friday and said global economic growth remains solid if uneven, with the US especially strong.

GE chief executive Jeff Immelt said the company has seen a mix of conditions in different markets, with the US clearly picking up.

"It fits a pattern that we have seen the last couple years, and the underlying activity is still reasonably healthy, but not universal," Immelt said.

GE's view was echoed by fellow US industrial conglomerate Honeywell International (IW 500/33) and by oil-services giant Schlumberger, both of which also cited slow growth as they reported strong earnings.

Shares of all three companies rose decisively, helping to lift US equity markets following deep drops earlier in the week.

On the downside, revenue growth in Russia was limited by European sanctions on the big petroleum producer, while unrest in Kurdistan resulted in a "severe slowdown" in the country.

Oil prices have fallen more than 20% since June on worries of a crude glut, but Schlumberger said it still sees the oil market as "relatively well-balanced."

Honeywell, which provides sensors, process controls and other goods to numerous industrial sectors, lifted its 2014 forecast following better-than-expected earnings.

Earnings for the third quarter rose 17.9% to $1.2 billion as the company said it again expected "a slow growth macro environment" in 2015.

At midday, shares of Dow member GE rose 3.6% to $25.12, Schlumberger gained 5.4% to $95.54 and Honeywell advanced 3.8% to $89.66.

By John Biers

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2014

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