North American PCB Industry Growth Continues


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IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries announced today the November 2017 findings from its North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program. Positive year-over-year shipment and order growth continued in November. The book-to-bill ratio remained high in November at 1.09.

Total North American PCB shipments in November 2017 were up 4.0% compared to the same month last year. This year to date, shipments are 2.3% below the same period last year. Compared to the preceding month, November shipments increased 0.4%.

PCB bookings in November increased 15.8% year-on-year, raising year-to-date order growth to 5.7% above the same period last year. Bookings in November were down 3.8% compared to the previous month.

“The North American PCB industry’s recovery continued in November and is becoming more robust, with positive year-on-year sales growth for the third consecutive month and strengthening growth rates,” said Sharon Starr, IPC’s director of market research. “The outlook is also positive, based on strong order growth in recent months, and on PCB book-to-bill ratios above parity (1.0) for 10 consecutive months.  Although the book-to-bill ratio has been retreating from a 12-year high in August, due to growth in sales, it remains strong, indicating a likelihood of continued sales growth in the coming months,” she added.

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Detailed Data Available

The next edition of IPC’s North American PCB Market Report, containing detailed November data from IPC’s PCB Statistical Program, will be available the week of January 8, 2018. The monthly report presents detailed findings on rigid PCB and flexible circuit sales and orders, including separate rigid and flex book-to-bill ratios, growth trends by company size tiers, demand for prototypes, and other timely data. This report is available free to current participants in IPC’s PCB Statistical Program and by subscription to others. More information about this report can be found here.

Interpreting the Data

The book-to-bill ratios are calculated by dividing the value of orders booked over the past three months by the value of sales billed during the same period from companies in IPC’s survey sample. A ratio of more than 1.00 suggests that current demand is ahead of supply, which is a positive indicator for sales growth over the next three to twelve months. A ratio of less than 1.00 indicates the reverse.

Year-on-year and year-to-date growth rates provide the most meaningful view of industry growth. Month-to-month comparisons should be made with caution as they reflect seasonal effects and short-term volatility. Because bookings tend to be more volatile than shipments, changes in the book-to-bill ratios from month to month might not be significant unless a trend of more than three consecutive months is apparent. It is also important to consider changes in both bookings and shipments to understand what is driving changes in the book-to-bill ratio.

IPC’s monthly PCB industry statistics are based on data provided by a representative sample of both rigid PCB and flexible circuit manufacturers selling in the USA and Canada. IPC publishes the PCB book-to-bill ratio at the end of each month. Statistics for the current month are normally available in the last week of the following month.

About IPC

IPC is a global industry association based in Bannockburn, Ill., dedicated to the competitive excellence and financial success of its 4,300 member companies which represent all facets of the electronics industry, including design, printed board manufacturing, electronics assembly and test. As a member-driven organization and leading source for industry standards, training, market research and public policy advocacy, IPC supports programs to meet the needs of an estimated $2 trillion global electronics industry. IPC maintains additional offices in Taos, N.M.; Washington, D.C.; Atlanta, Ga.; Stockholm, Sweden; Brussels, Belgium; Moscow, Russia; Bangalore and New Delhi, India; Bangkok, Thailand; and Qingdao, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Suzhou and Beijing, China.

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