February 2022 shipments came in at $6.53 billion, down from January’s $6.67 billion. As we remarked last month we’re starting the year better than we did 2021 and reverting back to our normal seasonality trends.

January’s number had reflected the tail end of the omicron surge that dominated December, and the months since have seen the virus ebb substantially, with businesses and individuals getting back to something akin to normal. However, variants and subvariants have been emerging, and in some areas—the Northeast in particular—cases are spiking, so the next couple of months could be fraught. In our Printing Outlook 2022report, we are expecting 2022 to return to the trend that started in 2019 before the interruption that was 2020. However, another major virus surge could derail whatever upward trajectory the industry—and the economy as a whole—have been on. Although everyone seems to have gotten sick of COVID (if not from COVID), the virus doesn’t care.