Bannockburn, IL. IPC-Association Connecting Electronics Industries announced today the July 2016 findings from its monthly North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program. Compared with the same month last year, PCB sales growth continued in July, while order growth was negative, causing the book-to-bill ratio to slip to 0.94.
Total North American PCB shipments in July 2016 were 1.2% above the same month last year. Year-to-date as of July, shipment growth is up 5.4%. Compared with the preceding month, July shipments were down 18.0%.
PCB bookings in July decreased 16.3% year-on-year, bringing year-to-date bookings growth down to a negative 1.1%. Orders in July 2016 were down 26.1% from the previous month.
“While year-on-year sales growth continued in the North American PCB industry in July, it was the decline in orders for the second consecutive month that pushed the book-to-bill ratio farther down,” said Sharon Starr, IPC’s director of market research. “Growth rates have been mixed for different segments of the industry,” she added, “with some extreme differences between rigid PCB and flexible circuit producers, and between company size tiers.”
The next edition of IPC’s North American PCB Market Report, containing detailed July data from IPC’s PCB Statistical Program, will be available within the 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. 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 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 United States 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.