The American Rental Association last week released its 2008 State of the Equipment Rental Industry report at The Rental Show in Atlanta, revealing that the total size of the North American rental market was U.S. $38.3 billion in 2008, including $35.3 billion in the United States and $3.0 billion in Canada.

In the U.S., the construction and industrial equipment rental segment remained the largest in 2008, with rental revenue of $24.5 billion or 69.4 percent of the total U.S. rental market. General tool rental revenue was $8.4 billion or a 23.8 percent share of the U.S. rental market, while party and event rentals accounted for $2.4 billion or a 6.8-percent share.

For Canada, construction and industrial equipment remained the largest equipment rental revenue segment in 2008, accounting for $2.2 billion or 73 percent of the market. General tool rental revenue for Canada was $636 million or 21.4 percent of the market share. Party and event equipment rental accounted for $167 million in revenue or 5.6 percent of the Canadian rental market for 2008.

Rental revenues in the United States fell 2.7 percent in 2008, and the report predicts further declines in 2009 and 2010. Growth, however, is expected to resume in 2011 with 2012 bringing total revenues that equal or exceed the 2007 market peak.

“This report is the economic definition of the equipment rental industry,” said Chris Wehrman, executive vice president and CEO of ARA. “The content allows those involved in equipment rental to better understand the dynamics taking place within the business. The report identifies the influential economic factors outside of the industry, including a look to the future based on identified drivers for each industry segment.”

The 2008 State of the Equipment Rental Industry report is produced by Moline, Ill.-based ARA and Lexington, Mass.-based IHS Global Insight, an economic forecasting firm with more than 3,800 clients in industry, finance and government.

The report gives historical perspective, current insight and future projections for the rental industry with information about the Canadian market as well as segment overviews — construction and industrial equipment, general tool, party and event — with U.S. regional breakouts. The report also focuses on the economic drivers of the equipment rental industry and outlines the five-year revenue forecast for Canada, the United States and U.S. regions for each market segment.

The full report is available to ARA members for $495 and to nonmembers for $1,195. For more information, visit www.ararental.org.