General Electric ( GE) CEO Jeff Immelt said global economic activity "remains extremely robust" and he doesn't see any signs of a slowdown anywhere. Immelt made the comments on a Friday conference call with analysts that followed GE's third-quarter earnings release, in which the industrial bellwether reported earnings in line with expectations and reaffirmed its outlook for the year. He was addressing persistent concerns about a U.S. economic slowdown resulting from the downturn in the housing market, which caused a rash of mortgage foreclosures, a lag in consumer spending and a late-summer panic in the global credit market. "We don't see any imminent improvement in housing," said Immelt on a conference call with analysts following GE's third-quarter earnings release. "But the rest of the U.S. seems fine to us." Amid the housing fiasco, Wall Street has looked abroad for growth opportunities, and in a recent research note, Goldman Sachs analyst Deane Dray said that GE operates "squarely in the epicenter of the global infrastructure boom," making it an attractive investment play on that phenomenon. The Fairfield, Conn., conglomerate reported third-quarter net income of $5.54 billion, or 54 cents a share, up from $4.87 billion, or 47 cents a share, a year earlier. The results included a $1.8 billion gain from the $11.6 billion sale of its plastics operations to Saudi Basic Industries. That was offset by $600 million in restructuring charges and a $1.4 billion charge related to the planned sales of its Japanese consumer-finance business and its WMC subprime mortgage business.