The national economies in Europe are taking an upward turn but growth is still estimated to be modest in many countries and there are significant country specific differences. The European Central Bank’s monetary stimulus is expected to improve the economic outlook for the eurozone. The decline in the oil price is expected to have a positive impact on economic development with the exception of Norway and Russia. The greatest uncertainties about economic development are related to the geopolitical situation and the risks related to the European financial markets and currency rate fluctuations. For Cramo, significant uncertainties relate to the Ukrainian crisis and the overall economic situation in Russia.
In Europe, market-specific differences are considerable also in the development of construction and the demand for rental services. In its reports published in June, the construction market analysts Euroconstruct and Forecon estimated that in 2015, construction would increase in all of Cramo’s operating countries with the exception of Finland, where construction will remain on par with the previous year, and Estonia, Latvia and Russia, where construction will decline.
In the long term, the equipment rental market is expected to grow faster than construction. Changes in demand usually follow those in construction with a delay. In addition to construction, the demand for equipment rental services is affected by industrial investments and the rental penetration rate.
According to its June forecast, the European Rental Association (ERA) expects equipment rental services to increase in all of Cramo’s main markets in 2015. The growth is expected to somewhat strengthen compared to 2014.