North American Rental Revenue Forecast to Surpass $71B in 2022

The American Rental Association (ARA) five-year forecast updated in late October now forecasts equipment and event rental revenues in North America to exceed $71.7 billion in 2022, including $65.4 billion in the U.S. and $6.3 billion in Canada.

The latest quarterly forecast again projects greater revenue gains than the previous forecast released in late May for each year from 2018 through 2022.

“We continue to see strong growth in rental revenues through 2018 and into 2019 due to the strong performance of the U.S. economy,” said John McClelland, Ph.D., ARA vice president for government affairs and chief economist.

“Our forecast for 2019 does indicate slower growth than we have experienced in 2018 because the U.S. economy is projected to grow at a slower rate than in 2018. However, in both cases, rental revenues are expected to grow at higher rates than the economy,” McClelland said.

In the U.S., equipment rental revenue is expected to finish 2018 at $53.04 billion, up 7.6% over 2017. Revenue is forecast to grow another 5.5% in 2019, 5.9% in 2020, 5.1% in 2021 and 4.7% in 2022.

While the construction/industrial segment remains the largest, it’s growth rates of 5.6% in 2019, 5.3% in 2020, 4.4% in 2021 and 4% in 2022 to $44.85 billion pace below the percentage of revenue increases for general tool — 6.2% in 2019, 7.7% in 2020, 7% in 2021 and 6.7% in 2022 to reach $16.34 billion — and for party and event, which is expected to show revenue increases of 6.7% in 2019, 5.8% in 2020, 5.5% in 2021 and 5.2% in 2022 to total $4.27 billion.

Scott Hazelton, managing director, IHS Markit, the forecasting firm that compiles data and analysis for ARA Rentalytics as part of a partnership with ARA, says the biggest surprise of the updated forecast has been the resiliency of the U.S. economy.

“After several years of temperate growth, it weathered an energy price hike and then an energy price collapse without significant ill effect. While one has to constantly be aware of the warning signs of a downturn, nothing appears imminent,” Hazelton said.

U.S. investment in rental equipment also is expected to be steady over the forecast period, increasing 2.6% in 2019 to $14.3 billion, adding another 4.5% in 2020 and then slowing to growth rates of 1.7% in 2021 and 1.3% in 2022, reaching $15.4 billion.

“Our biggest concerns going forward are the continuing negative effects of tariffs on the rental industry, both from the increasing costs of equipment for all rental segments and construction equipment, as well as the overall fiscal drag that is caused by tariffs,” McClelland said.

In Canada, rental revenue is forecast to grow 4.3% in 2018 to total $5.4 billion and then continue to expand with revenue increases of 4.8% in 2019, 4.7% in 2020, 3.8% in 2021 and 2.6% in 2022 to total $6.3 billion.

The American Rental Association is an international trade association for owners of equipment and event rental businesses and the manufacturers and suppliers of construction/industrial, general tool and party/event rental equipment.

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