'Bullwhip' Effect As America's Economy Wakes Up

Peter Hoffman for The Wall Street JournalHopeTracker| Analysts expect a Friday announcement by the Commerce Department that the U.S. economy grew at an inflation-adjusted annual rate of better than 5% in the fourth quarter 2009, the best performance since 2003. Customers aren’t bying more.

“The inventory burn-off is over,” says Caterpillar CEO Jim Owens, a Ph.D. economist who has run the world’s largest manufacturer of construction and mining machines since 2004.

There is no excess inventory in the pipeline. As manufacturers move to ramp up production, a host of new headaches are likely to happen. Bottlenecks and other headaches may occur as spot shortages cause unexpected price hikes and hamper companies’ ability to meet demand. Read on Caterpillar Cracks ‘Bullwhip’ as Economy Snaps Back via WSJ