Caterpillar retail sales drop 12% in first three months of the year

World's number one heavy equipment manufacturer Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) logged Thursday retail machines sales results for the first three month of the year, which were down 12% compared to the same period of 2015, making it the 41 straight month of sales declines.

Results mark the 41 straight month of retail sales declines.

Energy and transportation led the drop, down 34%. Resources industries sales followed close, recording a 28% fall, while sales to the construction industries were down 7% in the period.

With sales and operations at the ends of the earth, few companies are in a better position to take the pulse of the global economy and the resource sector in particular than Caterpillar.

The Peoria, Illinois-based firm has been hit hard by the decline in mining and construction — global sales are down more than $20 billion from its peak just four years ago after a drop of over $8 billion last year.

Caterpillar, which has taken dramatic cost-cutting measures in the last three years, has said it expects another 10% decline in revenue in 2016 to around $42 billion, but executives still can't predict a bottom for the industry.

CAT shares were down 1.7% to $69.37 in New York at 11:29 am ET. The $40 billion company's stock is up 2% this year though.