PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — The world's largest maker of construction and mining equipment, Caterpillar Inc., reported another strong month of global sales growth in May when sales improved 52 percent over last year.

Still, the results were slightly weaker than the recent months.

The company provided an update on its sales Monday in documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Sales in May were strongest in the region of Europe, Africa and the Middle East with 65 percent growth.

Caterpillar's Asian region posted the weakest results, but sales there were still up 38 percent.

Caterpillar's sales figures are considered an indicator of the health of the economy, so they are watched closely.

Before May, Caterpillar reported annual sales growth of 66 percent in April, 61 percent in March and 59 percent in February.

Shares of Caterpillar rose $1.25 to $97.20 in midday trading.