North American PCB Sales Growth Turns Positive in September 2017


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IPC—Association Connecting Electronics Industries announced today the September 2017 findings from its monthly North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program. Positive year-over-year shipment growth was seen in September for the first time this year. Strong order growth in recent months kept the book-to-bill ratio high at 1.14 in September.

Total North American PCB shipments in September 2017 were up 1.0% compared to the same month last year. This year to date, shipments are 3.5% below the same period last year. Compared to the preceding month, September shipments increased 13.8%.

PCB bookings in September increased 4.1% year-on-year, while year-to-date order growth held steady at 4.0% above the same period last year. Bookings in September were up 5.3% compared to the previous month.

“After eight consecutive months of book-to-bill ratios above parity (1.0), North American PCB sales finally saw positive year-over-year growth in September, driven by rigid PCB shipments,” said Sharon Starr, IPC’s director of market research. “Thanks to strong orders in recent months, the book-to-bill ratio remained high in September, indicating a likelihood of further 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 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, 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 4,200 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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