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IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries® announced today the April 2016 findings from its monthly North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program. Sales and orders in April both exceeded last year’s levels and the book-to-bill ratio stands at 1.02.
Total North American PCB shipments in April 2016 were 5.6% above the same month last year, causing year-to-date growth to remain at 5.5% for the first four months of the year. Compared to the preceding month, April shipments were down 16.8%.
PCB bookings in April increased 6.4% year-on-year, boosting year-to-date bookings growth for the first quarter to 5.0%. Orders in April 2016 were down 19.3% from the previous month.
“April was another good month for the North American PCB industry, with solid year-on-year growth in both sales and orders,” said Sharon Starr, IPC’s director of market research. “Bookings exceeded shipments for the sixth consecutive month, but only by a small margin in April. This brought the book-to-bill ratio down although it remains positive,” she added. “Growth rates and book-to-bill ratios for the first quarter changed slightly from previously published reports, due to a re-tabulation necessitated by a change in the survey sample this month. The revised ratios are 1.05 in January, 1.04 in February and 1.05 in March. April’s 1.02 book-to-bill continues a positive trend indicating continued sales growth in the second and third quarters.”
Detailed Data Available
The next edition of IPC’s North American PCB Market Report, containing detailed April data from IPC’s PCB Statistical Program, will be available by the end of next week. 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. More information about this report can be found at www.ipc.org/market-research-reports.
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 normally available in the last week of the following month.
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; Brussels, Belgium; Moscow, Russia; Bangalore and New Delhi, India; Bangkok, Thailand; and Qingdao, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Suzhou and Beijing, China.