While Alcoa can't control the metal prices, Kleinfeld said Alcoa has been aggressive in cutting costs and making its commodity business as profitable as it can be. Meanwhile, the value-add businesses continue to innovate and drive growth for the company.
When asked about specific industries, Kleinfeld said that aerospace is doing very well, with lots of demand from Southeast Asia and the Middle East. Autos are also looking good, with North America continuing to grow.
Kleinfeld was also bullish on the construction market, noting that all signs are pointing in the right direction for a pickup in commercial construction. The only weak spot was China, where Kleinfeld admitted the country is slowing but overall still remains at a very healthy growth rate.
Cramer said that thanks to Kleinfeld's insights, it's clear that the read on the global economy isn't as easy to decipher as he would like.