Consumer confidence was weakened and inflation was high, which affected consumer behaviour. Energy and fuel prices as well as labour costs in Europe increased during 2022, driven by the geopolitical situation.
The increased economic uncertainty did not impact the pharmaceuticals market, which continued to grow steadily in the fourth quarter in Sweden and Finland. The growth slowed somewhat in Finland in the fourth quarter compared to the previous quarters of 2022. In the first quarter of 2022, consumers prepared for a crisis by hoarding pharmaceuticals especially in Sweden and societies enhanced their pharmaceutical reserves, as well. During the latter part of the year market demand returned to a more normal level.
The availability of raw materials for medical products became tighter during the second half of the year due to the COVID-19 restrictions in China, and this has affected the availability of some medicines in Sweden and Finland.