Revised market predictions
An update to the European Rental Association's (ERA) 2020 Market Report
confirms a regional discrepancy in the impact of COVID-19 on the equipment market.
The revised analysis shows a worsening picture for the southern European countries and the UK, and a better-than-expected situation for countries in central and northern Europe.
Michel Petitjean, secretary general of ERA, says many rental companies are suffering from start-and-stop cycles occurring from one quarter to the next, which is hurting the revenue trajectory.
"If we add to that the difficulties in the construction industry with the supply of materials and the extended deadlines for delivering equipment from the OEMs, it is still hazardous to forecast the future outlook for the industry."
Overall, the update shows a slightly worse picture for the rental and construction industries in 2020 (-8% and -5.2%, respectively) compared to the previous update, but with an improved forecast for 2021 (-0.1% and +2.1%) and 2022 (+6% and +2.9%).
The regional picture is as follows:
Rental activity rose in 2020 in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, which also saw an uplift in their construction and GDP figures. This is particularly notable for rental activity in Norway (up 3.1%, now -2.2%) and Finland (+1.7%, now -2.3%), and construction activity in Denmark (+2.5%, now +1.8%), Finland (+2.1%, now -1.7%) and Sweden (+1.9%, now +0.4%).
Western and Central Europe (excluding the UK):
This region has been more resistant to ups and downs. Rental activity in 2020 is notably up compared to the previous update in Czech Republic (+1.6%, now -6.8%) and Germany (+1.6%, now -1.5%), although the performance of the construction sector in Switzerland in 2020 has been revised down (-2.9%, now -4%).
Construction activity in 2020 in Belgium (-3.6%, now -7%), France (-4%, now -14.1%) and Spain (-4.3%, now -11.6%) was much worse than expected, although there was no significant change to estimates of rental activity.
There is a very significant revision to the 2020 construction activity in the UK (-6.6%, now -12.3%) cancelling the positive revision from the early 2021 report. Rental activity in 2020 is also revised down (-1.2%, now -16%).
The European Rental Association was created in 2006 to represent national rental associations and equipment rental companies in Europe.