North American PCB orders spike, drive continued sales growth

Jan. 25, 2018

Bannockburn, IL. IPC-Association Connecting Electronics Industries announced today the December 2017 findings from its North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program. Positive year-over-year shipment and order growth continued in December. Due to a sharp increase in orders in December, the book-to-bill ratio climbed to 1.15.

Total North American PCB shipments in December 2017 were up 3.7% compared to the same month last year. Shipments ended 2017 down 1.8% compared to the prior year. Compared to the preceding month, December shipments increased 12.0%.

PCB bookings in December grew 33.9% year-over-year, resulting in annual 2017 order growth of 8.0% above the prior year. Bookings in December were up 29.1% compared to the previous month.

“Year-over-year sales growth for the North American PCB industry was positive for the fourth consecutive month,” said Sharon Starr, IPC’s director of market research. “Better still, strong bookings growth and 11 consecutive months of positive book-to-bill ratios support a rosy outlook for continued sales growth in 2018,” she added.

The next edition of IPC’s North American PCB Market Report, containing detailed December data from IPC’s PCB Statistical Program, will be available the week of February 5, 2018. 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.

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.

www.IPC.org

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