N.A. PCB Industry Ends 2015 with 0.4% Sales Growth


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IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries announced today the December 2015 findings from its monthly North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program. Slow sales growth continued in December, bringing 2015 to a close at 0.4% growth over 2014. The book-to-bill ratio returned to parity at 1.00 in December.

Total North American PCB shipments increased 0.6% in December 2015 compared to December 2014. Year-to-date shipment growth remained at 0.4%. In December, year-to-date growth reflects the entire year of 2015 over 2014. Compared to the previous month, PCB shipments were up 6.7%. 

PCB bookings rose 1.5% compared to December 2014. Year-to-date order growth in December, which represents the entire year of 2015, was up 2.5% over 2014. Orders in December were 6.4% ahead of orders in the previous month.

“Although North American PCB industry sales ended 2015 just slightly ahead of 2014, orders have grown a bit faster,” said Sharon Starr, IPC’s director of market research. “This, and the long run of positive book-to-bill ratios in 2015, falling below parity for just one month, indicate the likelihood of continued slow growth in 2016,” she added.

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Detailed Data Available

The next edition of IPC’s North American PCB Market Report, containing detailed December data from IPC’s PCB Statistical Program, will be available the first week in February. The monthly report presents detailed findings on rigid PCB and flexible circuit sales and orders, including separate rigid and flex book-to-bill ratios, military and medical market growth, 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. 

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 six 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 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 3,700 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; Moscow, Russia; Bangalore and New Delhi, India; Bangkok, Thailand; and Qingdao, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Suzhou and Beijing, China.

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