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IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries has announced the September 2016 findings from its monthly North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program. Solid order growth moved the book-to-bill ratio up to 1.03.
Total North American PCB shipments in September 2016 were 2.7% ahead of the same month last year. Year-to-date as of September, shipment growth is up 4.0%. Compared to the preceding month, September shipments increased 17.8%.
PCB bookings in September increased 6.3% year-on-year, returning year-to-date bookings growth to positive territory at 0.1%. Compared to the previous month, orders in September 2016 were down by 5.3%.
“Solid year-on-year growth in orders drove September’s increase in the North American PCB industry’s book-to-bill ratio, while sales were also up in September,” said Sharon Starr, IPC’s market research director. “Sales growth rates again differed markedly for different segments of the industry, with flexible circuits driving most of the month’s sales growth,” she added.
Detailed Data Available
The next edition of IPC’s North American PCB Market Report, containing detailed September data from IPC’s PCB Statistical Program, will be available 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, growth trends by company size tiers, 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.