The American Rental Association expects North American equipment rental industry revenue to increase by 8.2 percent in 2012 to reach $34 billion by year end. The growth is being 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, ARA said. It projects the party and event segment to grow 3.1 percent in 2012 to reach $2.6 billion in revenue.

The projections are based on recently updated quarterly figures by IHS Global Insight, a forecasting firm and a partner with ARA in providing data and analyses for the ARA Rental Monitor subscription service for association members. Economic growth expectations are consistent with the previous quarter, ARA said, adding that the industry continues to outperform the U.S. economy at a rate more than four times 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.

ARA is also projecting a growth trend in the rate of investment in equipment, projected by ARA to reach $9.85 billion in 2012, an increase of more than 15 percent from 2011. This means investment in equipment as a percentage of sales is forecasted to be 31.7 percent in 2012, a percentage that is likely to be even greater the next three years, ARA said.

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