MOLINE, Ill. — The new 5-year forecast for equipment rental industry revenues released by the American Rental Assn. (ARA) continues to call for steady gains and expectations for growth are greater than in the February forecast.

ARA now projects U.S. equipment rental revenue to reach $49.4 billion in 2017, up 4.5% over last year. The February forecast projected U.S. equipment rental revenue of $48.9 billion in 2017 and an average annual growth rate of 4.6 % to reach $56 billion in 2020.

The most recent forecast calls for U.S. rental revenue to grow 4.7 % in 2018, 5.1 % in 2019, 4.6 % in 2020 and 4.4 % in 2021 to reach $59.4 billion combined for the three segments of the industry including construction/industrial, general tool/light construction and party/special event.

This is the second consecutive quarterly forecast to project stronger growth during the forecast period compared to the previous quarterly update.

“The equipment rental continues to post strong performance numbers with annual revenues closing in in the $50 billion mark this year,” says John McClelland, ARA’s vice president for government affairs and chief economist. “The issues going forward are how the Congress is going to deal with tax reform and infrastructure spending. If tax reform can lower rates and simplify the code for all businesses that could be a sign of even stronger growth and a strong infrastructure bill will add to that momentum,” McClelland says.

Despite sluggishness in nonresidential construction, contractions in real residential construction and uncertainty of additional infrastructure spending, the construction and industrial equipment segment and general tool rental segment are projected to achieve compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) of 4.1% and 6.1 %, respectively, between 2017 and 2021, according to the ARA Rental Market Monitor.