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4th Quarter 2012 U.S. Market Snapshot Series (MSS) Report on Dental Practice Activity - Industry Decelerates Further as Economy Fails to Impress 

Report #: 121133-100

Date: 01/22/2013

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

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Overview:

The 4th Quarter 2012 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 2012 U.S. Market Snapshot Series (MSS) Report on Dental Practice Activity - Industry Decelerates Further as Economy Fails to Impress”.

Specifically, AFG Research probed into what 250 U.S. dentists think about the current economic environment and the challenges faced by their practice (4,000 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 United States reaches the end of 2012 with the re-election of president Obama and a firm re-commitment to the economic policies of the democratic administration – policies that have mostly brought modest improvements to the U.S. economy in the past year. In the third quarter of 2012, however, the U.S. economy experienced an unexpected growth rate above 3%, and unemployment continued to decrease along the conservatively downward trend that started in mid-2011. Despite these improvements, expectations of a more aggressive economic expansion are still unfulfilled – a situation that has made investors and business owners weary about the future. But the coming year is likely to start on more concrete grounds. Economic growth will likely to be sustained by government spending at least during the first half of 2013, with growth fueled by a stronger private sector during the second semester. Furthermore, the recent increases in consumer confidence indices during the months of September, October and November will likely enhance the path to a stronger growth in the coming quarters. The most recent trends in U.S. macroeconomic indicators are summarized below.

The U.S. Department of Commerce, in its third and latest estimate, calculated real GDP growth at 3.1% in the third quarter of 2012; quarterly growth in the first and second quarters was estimated at 2.0% and 1.3%, respectively. This recent acceleration was the result of a ‘modest pickup’ in personal consumption expenditures, federal government spending, and an evident downturn in imports.

In the third quarter, health care services contributed positively to GDP growth – contrasting the situation in the preceding quarter. In the first quarter of 2012, such services had contributed positively with a 0.4% growth to the 2.0% overall growth in real GDP; in the second quarter of 2012, the contribution was a -0.15% (a contraction) to the 1.3% overall growth; in the third quarter, the contribution was in the order of 0.3%.

The national unemployment rate contracted to 7.7% in November, after decreasing from 8.1% in August to 7.8%-7.9% during the months of September and October. Nonfarm payroll employment rose by approximately 132,000 jobs in September, 138,000 in October and by 146,000 in November – a recuperation from the weak job creation of the second quarter but a weaker performance in comparison to July and August. Employment gains in November came especially from job creation in retail trade, professional and business services, and health care. Job losses were observed, nonetheless, in the construction sector.

In terms of overall price levels and inflation, the monthly seasonally-adjusted consumer price index for all-items declined by 0.3% in November - the second contraction observed over the past 12 months. Such decrease was due primarily to a 7.4% decrease in the gasoline index, which offset increases in other indices. The food CPI increased by 0.2% in November, closely mimicking the increases recorded over the past 5 months.

The following articles present an overview of the current and upcoming challenges facing the American economy in the months to come:

  • “U.S. economy may gain traction by half-time in 2013: Moody's Analytics”, MarketWatch, December 12, 2012.

  • “Fed Officials Forecast Main Rate to Stay Near Zero Until 2012”, Bloomberg, December 12, 2012.

  • “The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index® Increases Again”, The Conference Board, November 27, 2012.

  • 'American Economy Is Still, By Most Measures, Deeply Depressed'”, The Huffington Post, December 10, 2012.

  • “In search of "natural" velocity”, The Economist, December 11, 2012.

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 2012

Report and Data Availability:

  • Online report (MarketSight) available using name-based account
  • 200 key charts presented by key topics (current and expected practice activity metrics, procedure volume and variations)
  • 300 online charts and summary tables
  • 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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