Fitch: Slow Growth for Healthcare Sector in 2013

Fitch Ratings forecasts low single-digit growth for most companies in the U.S. healthcare sector in 2013, although the ratings agency’s overall outlook for the industry is stable. Its forecast covers pharmaceutical manufacturers, diagnostic and life science companies, healthcare providers, medical device makers, and healthcare services segments of the broader U.S. healthcare industry:

Fitch says healthcare shows many positive growth trends—including the country’s aging population and higher rates of chronic disease, growing demand in emerging markets, and new product launches. But these are tempered by weak economic conditions and the looming fiscal cliff.

Although Fitch views the Affordable Care Act as a positive, it says there are still too many unknowns to predict the impact it will have.

It also cited the unknowns of healthcare entitlement reforms, which it says “will be central to any U.S. deficit reduction plans in 2013. These reforms have the potential to threaten future healthcare industry profitability.”