By the numbers

ARA Second Quarter Economic Survey indicates continued optimism

American Rental Association (ARA) equipment rental store owners and managers as well as product suppliers to the industry remain optimistic about growth in 2012.

Nearly 80 percent of those responding to the July 2012 ARA Economic Survey of rental store members project an increase in rental revenue this year over 2011, with 44 percent expecting double-digit growth. More than 91 percent expect rental revenues to at least equal those of 2011.

The positive outlook translates to positive projections for new equipment purchases. Nearly 90 percent of the respondents expect to buy as much or more new rental equipment as they did in 2011, with 38 percent forecasting a double-digit increase.

More than 82 percent of ARA equipment manufacturers and suppliers responding to a separate survey said they project additional sales growth into the rental channel in 2012 over 2011. More than 55 percent expect double-digit growth and 100 percent expect to at least match 2011 sales.

The enthusiasm and positive outlook for the rental market is reflected in preliminary numbers for The Rental Show 2013. As ARA prepares for Las Vegas in February, exhibit space on the show floor is being sold at a record pace and, as of mid-August, was nearly 100 percent sold.

The ARA Rental Market Monitor™, using second quarter 2012 data compiled by respected forecasting firm IHS Global Insight, forecasts total rental revenue in the U.S. and Canada to increase 8.2 percent in 2012 which is more than four times the growth rate of the gross domestic product (GDP), significantly outpacing the rest of the economy.

“It’s encouraging to see the industry continue the momentum of these positive economic trends that have emerged over the last several quarters,” says Christine Wehrman, ARA’s executive vice president and CEO.

“The equipment rental industry continues to show strong economic growth, indicating that equipment rental has strengthened its position as a preferred choice over purchase or lease for customers,” she says.

The ARA economic surveys reflect a snapshot in time of those who responded and may not be representative of the industry as a whole. However, rental companies and suppliers/manufacturers can benchmark their businesses against these results.

— Sarah Peterson


Forecasted North American equipment rental industry revenue for 2012, up 8.2 percent, according to the latest data released by the American Rental Association (ARA). The growth is fueled by a strong revenue growth projection of 9 percent in the construction and industrial equipment segment to $22.7 billion and 8 percent in the general tool segment to $8.7 billion. The party and event segment is expected to grow 3.1 percent in 2012 to reach $2.6 billion in revenue.

The projections are based on the industry’s recently updated quarterly figures by IHS Global Insight, one of the world’s leading economic forecasting firms and a partner with ARA in providing data and analyses for the ARA Rental Market Monitor™ subscription service for association members.

Economic growth expectations are consistent with the prior quarter and remain bullish. The industry continues to outperform the U.S. economy at a rate more than four times that of projected growth this year for the gross domestic product (GDP).

The ARA Rental Market Monitor current five-year forecast calls for steady, high single-digit growth in 2013 with double-digit revenue growth for the equipment rental industry in 2014, 2015 and 2016 to reach total North American rental revenue of $51.7 billion in 2016.

Also signaling a growth trend for the industry is the rate of investment in equipment, now projected by ARA to
reach $9.85 billion in 2012, up more
than 15 percent over 2011. This means investment in equipment as a percentage of sales is forecasted to be 31.7 percent this year. The increase in equipment investment as a percentage of sales is expected to be even greater over the next three years.

“The equipment rental industry continues to be a leader in recovery of our economy. The growth rate we’re seeing over 2011 is substantial, further demonstrating the significant value proposition that renting equipment has to offer,” says Christine Wehrman, ARA’s executive vice president and CEO.

Source: American Rental Association


The average temperature in the contiguous United States in July, 3.3 degrees above the 20th century average, marking the hottest July and hottest month on record for the nation, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The previous warmest month on record was July 1936, when the average U.S. temperature was 77.4 degrees Fahrenheit during the heart of the Dust Bowl. National weather records go back to 1895 and the January through July period has been the warmest seven months of any year on record for the U.S. with a national temperature average of 56.4 degrees, 4.3 degrees above the long-term average.


Second quarter sales and revenues for Caterpillar, Peoria, Ill., an all-time quarterly record and up 22 percent over the same period last year. Caterpillar also reported second quarter 2012 profit per share of $2.54, up 67 percent over last year and also an all-time quarterly record for the company.


Second quarter net sales for Terex Corp., Westport, Conn., up 35.2 percent over the second quarter 2011. Income from continuing operations was $83.6 million compared to $0.9 million last year.


The number of fatal accidents worldwide involving aerial work platforms (AWPs) in the first half of 2012, according to preliminary results of the International Powered Access Federation’s (IPAF) accident database. The causes of the accidents included electrocution, overturn, mechanical-related, fall from platform and entrapment. Of these accidents, 11 occurred in the U.S., two in the U.K. and one each in Australia, Netherlands, Singapore and Spain. IPAF also encourages all manufacturers, rental companies, contractors and users to report all known fatal and serious accidents involving AWPs worldwide at


Percentage annual increase in rental rates United Rentals, Greenwich, Conn., forecasts to achieve in 2012. The company’s new full-year 2012 pro-forma forecasts incorporating the April 30, 2012, acquisition of RSC Holdings, include total revenue of $4.6 billion to $4.7 billion; time utilization of 68.0 percent; and net rental capital expenditures of between $1.075 billion and $1.125 billion, after gross purchases between $1.5 billion and $1.6 billion.