In good sign for jobs, industrial companies finally see growth in spending on big-ticket items

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NEW YORK, N.Y. – Big companies are finally starting to spend money, and that could mean a better economy and more jobs.

Industrial companies such as General Electric, Honeywell and Caterpillar make expensive equipment that other companies need to buy to grow their business. They’ve been posting strong financial results in recent weeks and telling investors that orders are strong.

That’s a sign to economists that businesses are confident enough to invest and hire because they see an economy strong enough to support growth.

Following the Great Recession, big industrial companies cut costs, slimmed down, and gathered cash. They had to because their customers — other big businesses — found plenty of reasons not to spend.

Now, the U.S. and European economies are showing steady progress, and Chinese growth remains strong, although it’s slowing.

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