European rental to grow 3.6% this year says ERA

By Murray Pollok18 June 2021

The European Rental Association (ERA) has issued a second update to its 2020 Market Report and is forecasting that Europe’s equipment rental industry will see growth of 3.6% in 2021 before expanding by around 4.5% in 2022. The ERA also said the 2020 performance down 6.6%.

The main changes from the first update in February 2021 concern the 2020 figures, which confirm the regional discrepancy in the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, with a worsening picture for the southern European countries and the UK, and a better-than-expected situation for countries in central and northern Europe.

(The update figures issued by ERA last week were reissued on Friday 18 June with some corrections. That explains the alterations that have been made to this story.)

There were big falls in rental activity in 2020 for the UK (-16%), Italy (-12%), France (-14%) and Spain (-13.5%), while in contrast there were far less severe drops in the Nordic countries, Germany and the Netherlands - all less than -2.5%. 

Those countries that faired worst last year will see the biggest recoveries this year, with the UK expected to rebound by 5.5%, Spain by 5.5%, Italy by 6.5% and France by 9.5%.

Rental in Germany - where the construction sector continued to work throughout the pandemic - fell by a modest 1.5% last year and is expected to grow by 4% in 2021.

Michel Petitjean, Secretary General of ERA, said: “In 2020, trends in rental and construction followed a similar course, but there wasn’t the traditional amplification effect for the rental industry that we usually see during times of uncertainty.

A new prison being built in Saxony and Thuringia, Germany by a joint venture between Züblin and Wolff & Müller. Germany’s construction sector has held up well through the pandemic. (Photo: imago images/Eibner via Reuters Connect)

“Many rental companies are now starting to benefit from this amplification effect due to continued uncertainty in the general economy, but are also largely 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.”‎

The ERA Market Report 2020 is available digitally for ERA members (€500) and for non-members (€1,200). To order a copy, please contact the European Rental Association at

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