North American PCB Industry Sales Up 1.0 Percent in May


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IPC announced the May 2020 findings from its North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program. The book-to-bill ratio stands at 1.10.

Total North American PCB shipments in May 2020 were up 1.0 percent compared to the same month last year. Compared to the preceding month, May shipments fell 3.0 percent.

PCB bookings in May increased 0.4 percent year-over-year but fell 20.2 percent from the previous month.

“Orders continue to outpace shipments as supply chains adjust to disruptions and demand shocks caused by COVID-19. Strong orders for North American PCBs in recent months have led to longer lead times,” said Shawn DuBravac, IPC chief economist. “Orders in May suggest global supply chains might now be recalibrating to adjusted levels of demand.”

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Detailed Data Available

Companies that participate in IPC’s North American PCB Statistical Program have access to detailed findings on rigid PCB and flexible circuit sales and orders, including separate rigid and flex book-to-bill ratios, growth trends by product types and company size tiers, demand for prototypes, sales growth to military and medical markets, and other timely data.

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 by the end of each month.

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