Moments ago, Caterpillar released its May 2013 dealer statistics breaking down the 3-month rolling average for machine retail sales. Curiously, unlike in previous months when Asia/Pac (i.e. China) was the worst performing region on a year-over-year basis, in May it was the US that showed the worst results. Just how bad: retail sales in the US clocked at a -16% clip, just barely above the -18% drop in April, and only the second worst print in the past 3 years. And just to put the CAT dump in perspective, the chart below correlates CAT North American retail data with a 3 month delay in Durable Goods Orders ex Transportation: has CAT become the best leading proxy for corporate CapEx, and if so, just how much more negative does it have to get before the recession-watchers join the bond vigilantes in waking from hibernation?