The American Rental Association (ARA) is forecasting a 13 percent decline in equipment and event rental revenue this year compared to 2019, dropping to $48.7 billion in the United States.
The latest forecast released by the association on Nov. 12, 2020, calls for modest overall growth in 2021, ticking up 0.3 percent to $48.9 billion, before accelerating recovery kicks in with growth of 9.2 percent in 2022, 6.8 percent in 2023 and 4.8 percent in 2024 to reach $59.7 billion.
The party and event segment is forecast to show the largest drop in 2020 revenue, down 38.9 percent to $2.2 billion. After so many rental stores saw business virtually disappear in the spring and early summer of 2020, the results set the stage for what will look like very favorable comparisons in 2021.
The ARA forecast calls for party and event rental revenue to grow by 36.4 percent in 2021 to reach $3 billion, but this recovery falls far short of making up for the 2020 decline. The segment, according to the forecast, is not expected to reach peak 2019 revenue levels again until 2024.
Investment in equipment is significantly down in 2020, with a 43 percent decrease to $8.166 billion. Equipment spending is forecast to rebound by 17.4 percent in 2021 and by 46.3 percent in 2022 to surpass annual investment of $14 billion.
The party and event segment in Canada is expected to have the largest drop in revenue in 2020, down 28.5 percent to $172 million, but is forecast to bounce back in 2021 with 23.7 percent revenue growth and then surpass its peak 2019 revenue by 2023.