That will result in growth of total rentals in 2012 to more than $28 billion, a growth rate of 12 percent compared with 2010, or about the same level the industry experienced in 2005. The 12 percent is a lower rate than the 17 percent I expect between 2010 and 2011 because of the lack of government stimulus programs and slow growth expected in all the other construction categories, especially housing.
See table 3
My crystal ball is pretty dim beyond 2012 due to global economic uncertainty. The Euro-zone crisis, if unresolved, could negatively impact world economies. U.S. bank exposure to European debt is thought to be manageable, but the psychological impact would be far reaching. There’s also the possibility of a significant slowdown of the Chinese economy.
Although it seems counterintuitive, rental company owners should be heartened by all this uncertainty. Uncertainty will continue to turn equipment users to rental. It is very possible that my 2012 estimate of total rentals is too conservative. There is much more upside potential than downside risk.
It is possible for total rentals to return to their 2007 peak within two or three years. I think the future is bright for the U.S. equipment rental market.