US & Global Economic Impact Analysis and Forecasts

Freedonia analysts and economists are sharing their insights on how major events are impacting different parts of the US and global economies.

Masks… Still. Masks… Again.

While many never stopped wearing masks and some never wore them consistently and properly, guidance from the CDC this week shifted back to recommending wearing masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status, particularly in areas with high transmission of COVID-19.  

In response, some major retailers such as Walmart are reintroducing mask mandates for their staff and placing signage that strongly encourages customers to wear masks as well. Other companies are considering following suit.  

Additionally, the American Academy of Pediatrics released guidance recommending that all students over 2 years old and all staff – regardless of vaccination status – wear masks while indoors.

The result of all this extended and reintroduced mask wearing means sales of masks have been perking up again as well. The reusable masks many of us have been wearing for months are starting to look it, particularly those worn by children who are prone to fidgeting with or even chewing on them. Faced with continued occasions to wear them and the prospect of wearing them for another season or another year, many are starting to shop for fresh masks again.

First responders and medical personnel still need their stocks as well, but suppliers of N95 medical-grade masks, such as 3M and Honeywell, are seeing decelerations in demand. Still, suppliers are being sure to keep production flexible and ready for future emergencies.

For more information and discussion of opportunities, see The Freedonia Group’s extensive collection of off-the-shelf research, particularly titles such as Global Disposable Masks & Respirators, Global Meltblown Nonwovens, Global Spunbond Nonwovens, US Nonwovens, and Medical Nonwovens in the Textiles & Nonwovens segment. Freedonia Custom Research is also available for questions requiring tailored market intelligence.