ARA adjusts its equipment rental revenue forecast

ARA equipment rental

The latest five-year forecast from the ARA (American Rental Association) predicts equipment and event rental revenues in North America to surpass $61.3 billion in 2019.

The new forecast, updated on May 2, estimates the rental industry will generate $5.3 billion in Canada and $55.8 billion in the United States, up 5 per cent compared to 2018.

Similar steady growth is expected in each of the successive years of the forecast to reach $69.8 billion in revenue by 2022.

The new figures, which are updated quarterly, project slightly less growth than what was forecast in February, but continues to predict similar steady growth, outpacing the overall economy.

“The equipment and event rental industry is growing and continues to expand faster than the overall economy. The outlook continues to be positive,” said John McClelland, Ph.D., vice president for government affairs and chief economist for the ARA.

In Canada, rental revenue is forecast to grow 2.5 per cent in 2019 to total nearly C$5.6 billion and then continues to expand with revenue increases of 4.4 per cent in 2020, 5.6 per cent in 2021 and 3.7 per cent in 2022 to total more than $6.3 billion.

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In the United States, equipment and event rental revenue is expected to grow another 4.2 per cent in 2020, 4.3 per cent in 2021 and 4.7 per cent in 2022 to reach $63.5 billion.

Scott Hazelton, managing director, IHS Markit, the forecasting firm that compiles data and analysis for the ARA Rentalytics subscription service as part of a partnership with ARA, explained the trend for the equipment and event rental industry is slightly slower growth than previously forecast, but that growth is steady.

“The outlook for the equipment rental industry calls for expected growth, although at reduced rates. The maturing economy, combined with trade issues, offers more limited opportunities to the construction and manufacturing sectors, while the stimulus from tax cuts to both consumers and business is fading,” Hazelton said.

“In the United States, not one state has a decline in construction, general tool or party and event rental revenue and there are no signs of recession. However, weakness in core markets suggest that any forecast risk is on the downside and our forecast has evolved lower over the past six months.”