North American PCB Sales and Orders Continued to Climb in January


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IPC—Association Connecting Electronics Industries announced today the January 2018 findings from its North American PCB Statistical Program. Both sales and orders were up year-over-year in January. Due to continued strong order growth in January, the book-to-bill ratio climbed to a 12-year high of 1.16.

Total North American PCB shipments in January 2018 were up 9.8% compared to the same month last year. Compared to the preceding month, January shipments decreased 8.5%.

PCB bookings in January grew 25.3% year-over-year. January bookings were down 13.9% compared to the previous month.

“Year-over-year sales growth for the North American PCB industry continued to climb in January and growth was positive for the fifth consecutive month,” said Sharon Starr, IPC’s director of market research. “Strong bookings growth also continued, pushing the book-to-bill ratio to its highest point since September 2005. This performance, capping 12 consecutive months of positive book-to-bill ratios, offers a strong indication of continued sales growth in the first half of 2018,” she added.

Detailed Data Available

IPC’s North American PCB Market Report, is now a quarterly publication. The next edition, containing detailed first-quarter 2018 data from IPC’s PCB Statistical Program, will be available in early May. The 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.

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 4,300 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. For more information, click here.

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