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4th Quarter 2011 U.S. Market Snapshot Series (MSS) Report on Dental Practice Activity - Signs of A Long-Overdue Recovery

Report #: 111133-100

Date: 02/08/2012

Fees: $1,495 USD for current release (inquire for annual subscription discounts)

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Overview:

The 4th Quarter 2011 edition of OMNIDEN™ - AFG Research’s U.S. and international dental omnibus - included several questions designed to gather dentists’ opinions regarding the current state of the U.S. economy and the way their practice has been affected by the current economic environment. Results for these questions have been made available as part of a new report titled: “4th Quarter 2011 U.S. Market Snapshot Series (MSS) Report on Dental Practice Activity - Signs of A Long-Overdue Recovery”.

Specifically, AFG Research probed into what 250 U.S. dentists think about the current economic environment and the challenges faced by their practice (3,000 U.S. dentists since the 4th quarter 2008). As part of this study, AFG Research measured the changes experienced in the volume of twenty different dental procedures during the past six months, including direct restorations, implant procedures and many others.

The U.S. economy ended 2011 with shy growth and modest signs of recovery. Throughout 2011, both GDP and employment figures remained weak, adding much uncertainty to equity markets and investors´ expectations. Such uncertainty is likely to prevail in the coming year: the political debate on topics such as tax reform and government spending will intensify as we approach elections in November. In addition, Europe will see much of its struggle to control sovereign debt and sustain the Euro throughout the first half of 2012.

The following summarizes the U.S.’s most recent macro-economic trends up to the fourth quarter of 2011:

  • The U.S. Department of Commerce estimated that real GDP increased at a quarterly rate of 1.8 percent in the third quarter of 2011 (third estimate), while the quarterly growth rate in the second and first quarters were estimated to be 1.3 and 0.4 percent, respectively. The modest acceleration in real GDP in the third quarter primarily reflected growth in personal consumption and expenditure, nonresidential fixed investment and exports. It must be noted that quarterly growth of real GDP did not fall below 2.3% in 2010.

  • Health care services adversely affected GDP growth in the third quarter. In the first quarter of 2011, health services had contributed with 0.06 percent of the 0.4% growth in real GDP; in the second quarter, the contribution was of 0.32 percent of the 1.3% growth; in the third quarter, the contribution was of -0.07%.

  • The latest employment figures reflected a recent recovery of the labour market towards the last months of 2011. The unemployment rate fell by 0.4 percentage points in November, and is now around 8.6%. During the months of August, September and October, unemployment oscillated around 9.0 percent. This recent decrease reflects a rise in non-farm employment in the amount of 120,000 jobs, especially in the areas of retail trade (50,000), leisure and hospitality (22,000), business services (33,000) and less prominently, in health care (17,000). Nonetheless, the average monthly addition of jobs in the health care sector was 27,000 over the past 12 months. With a loss of 5,000 jobs, government employment continues to follow its long-term downward trend since mid-2008. It must be noted as well that the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for at least 27 weeks) was recorded at 5.7 million in November, down from the 6.3 million recorded in August.

  • When it comes to inflation, the monthly seasonally adjusted consumer price index (urban) for all items remained constant throughout November, after having decreased by 0.1% in October. During the third quarter of 2011, the CPI had increased by an average of 0.4% each month. The current stall in CPI growth was due to decreases in energy price indices that managed to offset increases in food and all-items indices.

A number of key opinion leaders have shared their views on the opportunities and challenges facing the American economy in the months to come:

  • “Signs Point to Economy’s Rise, but Experts See a False Dawn”, The New York Times, December 21, 2011

  • “A year of living pigheadedly”, The Economist, December 17, 2011

  • “The U.S. Economy: Is it Finally Recovering?”, Brookings, December 13, 2011

  • “The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index® Improves Again”, The Conference Board, December 27, 2011.

This quarter’s report continues to analyze current and expected production for 20 key dental procedures. It also focuses on two measures for tracking both the current state and the expected state of dental practice activities over the last 12 quarters: the “AFG Research Current Dental Practice Activity Index” and the “AFG Research Dental Practice Activity Expectations Index”. These indices, each of which is constructed from the re-scaled results of twelve questions (ten questions on current practice conditions and ten questions on expected practice conditions), provide a clear and concise view on the evolution of current business perceptions and expectations over the recessionary period.

The report will help dental manufacturers and distributors to: a) assess the current business environment of the industry, b) better understand the ways in which dentists across the U.S. are coping with changes in the economic environment, c) identify key opportunities for adapting their business to better address the needs of their customers d) track the changes in key dental business activities during both the recessionary and post-recessionary periods, and e) identify future trends and developments to better forecast business activity in 2012 and beyond.

Research Focus:

  • Influence of the U.S. economy on dental practices (current and historical levels by specialty and segment)
  • Current dental practice current activity index
  • Perceived conditions of the U.S. economy & practice activity (local economy, business conditions, revenues, profitability and technology investments, practice daily calendar, conversion rate for elective procedures)
  • Expected dental practice activity index
  • Expected conditions of the U.S. economy & practice activity (local economy, business conditions, revenues, profitability and technology investments, practice daily calendar, conversion rate for elective procedures)
  • Dental procedure volume analysis (current and historical levels by specialty and segment)
  • Dental procedure volume variations in past 6 months
  • Dental procedure volume variation expectations for next 6 months
  • Number of patients seen per week (current and historical levels)
  • Number of orthodontic cases & Invisalign patients (by age group of patients)
  • Dental impression methods (conventional versus digital impressions)
  • Practice expansion intentions (add new operatory, practice relocation, add new office)
  • Practice management priorities

Dental Procedures Covered:

Regional Market Covered: USA

Data Collection Date: December 2011

Report and Data Availability:

  • Online report (iCharts) available using name-based account
  • 400 key charts presented by key topics (current and expected practice activity metrics, procedure volume and variations)
  • 150 interactive charts with filtering capabilities (census region, dental practice size, etc.)
  • Summary of key findings and executive summary
  • Downloadable report (MS PowerPoint)
  • Cross-tabulation of survey results by multiple classification questions (MS Excel available to subscribers only)

Information on Report License:

  • Site License: This license allows for use of the report by an unlimited number of people within the same enterprise location. Each of these people may use the report on any computer, and may print out the report, but may not share the report (or any information contained therein) with any person or persons outside of the enterprise location. Customers who infringe these license terms are liable for a Global Site license fee.

  • Global Site License: This license allows for use of the report by an unlimited number of people within the same enterprise worldwide. Each of these people may use the report on any computer, and may print out the report, but may not share the report (or any information contained therein) with any other person or persons outside of the enterprise. Please contact us for details.

DTA Members Discount:

Dental Trade Alliance (DTA)

 AFG Research is a member of the Dental Trade Alliance (DTA)

Any organization which is currently a member of the Dental Trade Alliance (DTA) is eligible to an additional discount on the report license fees. Please request your coupon code if applicable.

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