By all accounts, 2022 was rough, but it could have been worse. The unemployment rate is relatively stable, hiring is still strong and a 6.5% mortgage rate is not as good as 3.5%, but
it isn’t terrible when you compare it to 1981 when a home mortgage would have set you back by a cool 16.6%.
In Q3 2022, the real gross domestic product rebounded at a 2.6% annualized rate on the strength of net exports. The U.S. Census Bureau said retail sales surged 1.3% month-over-month in October, the strongest increase in eight months, after a flat reading in September. Sales at motor vehicle dealers were up 1.3% as supply chain constraints eased, while rising gasoline costs pushed sales at stations 4.1% higher.
Additionally, there were other increases for sales at food services and drinking places (1.6%), food and beverages stores (1.4%), nonstore retailers (1.2%), furniture (1.1%), building materials (1.1%) and health and personal care (0.5%). Still, 2023 could be bumpy.
The Fannie Mae Economic and Strategic Research Group expects declines in residential fixed and business investment, as well as slowing personal consumption growth, which is likely to tip the U.S. economy into a modest recession in the first quarter of 2023.
So what will that mean for retail pharmacy?
The industry will not be immune to these economic forces, as well as the other issues it is facing. But there is a bright spot amid the clouds: In a tight market where value is king, what can be more valuable than value-based healthcare at a retail pharmacy? Offering a portfolio of services, like disease management, test-to-treat, vaccines, etc., is a smart play. Fortunately, the industry is already leaning in that direction. It just has to lean a little further.