North American PCB Sales Enjoyed Solid Growth in December


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IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries announced today the December 2016 findings from its monthly North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program. Sales growth in December was solid while the PCB book-to-bill ratio slipped to 0.98.

Total North American PCB shipments in December 2016 were up 5.9% compared to the same month last year. Year-to-date as of December, shipment growth is up 2.9%. Compared to the preceding month, December shipments increased 12.3%.

PCB bookings in December decreased by 2.2% year-on-year, reducing year-to-date bookings growth to -0.7%. Compared to the previous month, orders in December 2016 were up by 11.6%.

“Year-on-year growth in North American PCB sales and orders both strengthened in December, even though order growth remained negative compared to last year,” said Sharon Starr, IPC’s director of market research. “The North American PCB book-to-bill ratio remained in negative territory for only the second consecutive month, which is a typical seasonal pattern in the PCB industry and not a cause for concern,” she added. “Order growth is likely to resume in early 2017.”

The next edition of IPC’s North American PCB Market Report, containing detailed December 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.

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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.

About IPC

IPC is a global industry association based in Bannockburn, Ill., dedicated to the competitive excellence and financial success of its 3,900 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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