ERA's latest report
Equipment rental in Europe is tipped to fall by 10.4% this year, after a modest rise last year.
The latest Market Report from the European Rental Association (ERA) notes that equipment rental companies and other companies providing rental services generated a total rental turnover of more than EUR27.7 billion (USD26.9 billion) in 2019.
The headline conclusion from this year's report is that 2019 was a year of growth for all the markets covered. This growth, however, was at different stages, with some markets already slowing down (France, Belgium, Sweden) and others still reporting robust growth (Germany, Poland, Italy). The first quarter of 2020 reflected these dynamics.
The COVID-19 pandemic, however, hit European economies over the second quarter of this year. The immediate impact differed from country to country. The Nordic countries, which did not lock down and had almost no site shutdowns, have performed differently to southern Europe and the UK, which faced severe lockdowns and disruptions to activity. The UK has been further impacted by the uncertainty surrounding the Brexit negotiations.
The report anticipates an increase of 4.8% next year, but analysts stress that the prediction is based on assumptions at the end of September. "The hypothesis is that there will be no further lockdowns across Europe apart from local and temporary restrictions. The forecast also does not factor in the development and mass availability of a vaccine," according to the association.
"Large drops are expected this year, but significant rises - some of them due to technical rebounds - are expected in the short term, as well as in the medium to long term," the report adds.
The European Rental Association was created in 2006 and currently represents over 5,000 rental companies, either directly or through 15 rental associations.