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Caterpillar's growth indicates strengthening world economy

Caterpillar is the world's largest manufacturer of construction equipment. Photo: Charlie Neibergall / AP

Manufacturing giant Caterpillar is forecasting $44 billion in sales for 2017, which is the company's third consecutive increase in projected annual revenue, Bloomberg reports. And sales are rising globally with surges in North America (27%), Asia (31%), Europe, Africa and the Middle East (22%), and Latin America (24%).

Why it matters: Caterpillar touches a diverse range of industries around the world, including U.S. oil and Chinese construction, and its growth serves as litmus test for global economic expansion. This positive news from Caterpillar is the latest indicator of synchronized growth of the world's economies, which hasn't happened since before the Great Recession.

Go deeper: The world's top economies are all growing at once.