Pcb Crossteh Printed Circuit Board

North American PCB sales growth ends 2018 up 8.7%

Jan. 29, 2019
BANNOCKBURN, IL— IPC announced Monday the December 2018 findings from its North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program. Sales growth bounced back in December and remained solid for the year. The book-to-bill ratio also strengthened in December and stands at 1.05.

Total North American PCB shipments in December 2018 were up 7.7% compared to the same month last year. Shipment growth ended the year at 8.7%. Compared to the preceding month, December shipments increased 17.1%.

PCB bookings in December were down 3.1% year-over-year but bookings ended 2018 at 5.7 percent above the previous year. Bookings in December were up 26.3% from the previous month.

“Despite slowing PCB sales growth in North America in recent months, the industry ended the year well ahead of 2017,” said Sharon Starr, IPC’s director of market research. “Although year-on-year PCB order growth was negative in December, order growth also remained positive for 2018. Despite declining orders and a related decline in the book-to-bill ratio,” Starr added, “the ratio bounced back in December. It has now been in positive territory for almost two years, which indicates a positive outlook for continued sales growth in the first half of 2019.”

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.

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