General Electric Co said its industrial businesses will grow next year and accelerate in 2012, with revenue flat up to 5 percent in 2011.

Things are definitely getting better, we're seeing it across the portfolio right now, said Jeffrey Immelt, chief executive of the largest U.S. conglomerate. The performance is strengthening in the fourth quarter and we see good momentum as we go into 2011 and beyond.

GE has been counting on strong growth outside the United States, particularly in China, India and the Middle East, to offset a sluggish recovery at home.

GE has ceased providing specific per-share profit targets, instead offering a framework of how it expects its businesses to perform.

Analysts on average expect the company to post 2011 profit of $1.27 per share, up 13 percent from expected 2010 levels, on revenue of $145.4 billion, down 3 percent.

GE, whose products range from wind turbines and industrial technology to machines used in hospitals and a large financing arm, also said it aimed to maintain an attractive dividend payout and that it aims to increase operating earnings at least as quickly as its S&P 500 peers.

It also said it remained interested in complementary acquisitions and predicted sales growth in China in the high double digits.

GE shares were up 7 cents at $17.69 in late trading after rising as high as $17.89.


Corporate America's view of the economic recovery has been gradually improving over the past few months.

Last week, fellow blue-chip manufacturers 3M Co and United Technologies Corp said they were looking for profit to rise about 10 percent next year at their midpoints.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Business Roundtable reported that CEO confidence in the economy spiked to a four-year high in December, with some 80 percent of corporate chiefs expecting sales to rise over the next six months.

As I think about 2011, I feel a lot better than I've felt in the last two years, in terms of what's going on in the global marketplace, Greg Hayes, chief financial officer at United Tech, told investors on Tuesday.

Honeywell International Inc is due to lay out its expectations on Wednesday.

(Additional reporting by Nick Zieminski; editing by John Wallace and Matthew Lewis)