UK report forecasts rental decline in 2008-9

By Murray Pollok23 July 2008

The latest report on the UK's plant hire market forecasts a market decline of around 4-5% during 2008-9, followed by a flat 2010 before some market recovery in 2011-12.

AMA Research's study - which does not include the UK's tool hire sector - said the UK's plant hire market remained reasonably buoyant, although economic volatility meant there was a high degree of uncertainty around its forecasts; "Current indications in early-mid 2008 suggest that the plant hire sector is still reasonably buoyant despite the housebuilding downturn - with non-residential construction, infrastructure and industrial maintenance all relatively positive."

AMA said it was clear that "more speculative developments in office and retail development and refurbishment will become increasingly affected and uncertainty over the economic climate will take time to evaporate."

The research body said the UK plant hire market was worth £3 billion in 2007, having increased by an estimated 10% in the 2005-07 period. AMA said earthmoving equipment - the largest product sector - accounted for around 43% of hire turnover, while lifting (cranes and access) represented around 31%, construction 7%, road building 6%, compressors/generators 5%, and others - including portable accommodation, environmental and tools - approximately 8% of total rental turnover.

AMA said there were regional growth opportunities for many plant hirers, with severe flooding in 2007 resulting in high demand for pumps, dehumidifiers, generators etc. and new road construction and the Olympic infrastructure representing further opportunities.

AMA Research's report - Plant Hire Market: UK 2008-2012 - is available in hard copy or electronic format for £625 and can be ordered online at www.amaresearch.co.uk.

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