Both equipment and event rental companies have reached a point of stability after almost three years of a pandemic-induced roller coaster ride, according to the latest quarterly economic impact survey conducted by the American Rental Association (ARA).
In answer to the question “Would you say the situation for event rental is getting better, the same or getting worse?” 50 percent of the event rental respondents said it was the same in the third quarter of 2022 while 44 percent said it was getting better. Only 6 percent said it was getting worse, the lowest number since ARA began the economic surveys in March 2020.
On the equipment rental side, 63 percent of the respondents said the situation is the same in the third quarter of 2022 with 26 percent saying it is getting better and 11 percent saying it is getting worse.
“I have been traveling the country visiting stores all year and these survey results are right in line with what I’m hearing from rental operators. Stores have made the necessary adjustments in pricing and continue to find operational efficiencies to meet the demand,” says Tony Conant, ARA CEO.
Survey respondents also are optimistic about the future. For example, 81 percent of the event rental ARA members who completed the survey expect revenue to increase in the fourth quarter compared to 19 percent that expect a decrease compared to last year.
Of those responding to the survey from the equipment side of the business, 71 percent expect revenue to increase compared to 29 percent who expect a decrease compared to last year.
“Despite several headwinds from inflation, rising interest rates, labor and supply chain issues, these latest survey results show that ARA member companies are generally meeting those challenges and forecasting increases,” says Tom Doyle, ARA’s vice president, association program development.
Event rental members also were asked about rental rates and 93 percent of the event rental respondents said they have increased rates in 2022 and three quarters of those who have not raised rates this year said they intend to.
The drivers for rate increases, according to the event rental survey respondents, were almost evenly split between increased labor cost (36 percent), increased fixed expenses cost (30 percent) and increased new inventory or supply purchasing cost (28 percent).
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