Positive order growth ends two-year slump

1-IPC-logo-01Findings from a recent IPC North American printed circuit board (PCB) statistical program indicate that the book-to-bill ratio has stayed strong for the sixth consecutive month. This is an indication that recovery from nearly a two-year slump may be starting.


IPC director of market research, Sharon Starr, explained: “PCB sales and orders have been below last year’s levels for most months of the past year, but they have been improving in recent months. Order growth rates have improved faster than sales growth rates, which accounts for the positive book-to-bill ratios of the past five months.”


Looking at the figures in more detail, total North American PCB shipments were down 4.4 per cent from May 2012, but bookings increased 8.3 per cent year over year. Year to date, shipments were down 4.9 per cent and bookings were down 0.3 per cent. Compared to the previous month, PCB shipments in May increased 0.9 per cent and bookings grew by 6.5 per cent. Bookings have outpaced shipments for the past six months. The PCB book-to-bill ratio held steady at a strong 1.10.


Sharon concluded: “PCB sales are slowly emerging from almost a two-year slump, but the recent positive order growth makes the sales outlook for the second half of this year more promising.”