The Boeing Co. could decide by the end of the year whether to increase the production rate of the Renton-built Next Generation 737 to 40 a month.

That production rate would be the highest in the 737's history, said Kristi Moen, a Boeing spokeswoman.

The company discussion comes at the same time Boeing is forecasting carriers in North America will take delivery of about 7,200 new commercial airplanes over the next 20 years, valued at $700 billion, according to a company press release.