North American PCB Sales Growth Turns Positive
IPC Releases PCB Industry Results for October 2017
IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries® announced today the October 2017 findings from its monthly North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program. Positive year-over-year shipment and order growth continued October. The book-to-bill ratio remained high in October at 1.12.
Total North American PCB shipments in October 2017 were up 3.6 percent compared to the same month last year. This year to date, shipments are 2.9 percent below the same period last year. Compared to the preceding month, October shipments decreased 2.9 percent.
PCB bookings in October increased 13.9 percent year-on-year, while year-to-date order growth grew to 4.9 percent above the same period last year. Bookings in October were up 0.5 percent compared to the previous month.
“The North American PCB industry appears to be recovering from this year’s slump. Year-on-year sales growth in October was positive for the second consecutive month and is strengthening,” said Sharon Starr, IPC’s director of market research. “The outlook is positive too, based on continued growth in orders and on PCB book-to-bill ratios above parity (1.0) for the ninth consecutive month. After reaching a 12-year high in August, the book-to-bill ratio has retreated slightly due to growth in sales, but it remains very strong, indicating a likelihood of further sales growth in the coming months,” she added.
Detailed Data Available
The next edition of IPC’s North American PCB Market Report, containing detailed October 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 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 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.