If you want a good handle on the state of the industrial sector in the US and worldwide, one excellent measure is Rexnord's sales. Their products go into larger machinery (capital goods) all across the industrial spectrum. Here's a measure of how bad 2009 really was:
For the fiscal year ending March 31, net sales are expected to be down 20 percent to $1.51 billion. Income from operations is expected to be in the range of $154.4 million to $157.4 million.
Things are improving, in a manner of speaking. 4Q sales were down only 6% from last year.
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