IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries® announced today the May findings from its monthly North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program. Sales were down slightly but orders were up. The book-to-bill ratio held steady at 1.02.
Total North American PCB shipments decreased 4.2 percent in May 2015 from May 2014, and year-to-date shipment growth declined to -1.8 percent. Compared to the previous month, PCB shipments were down 3.5 percent.
PCB bookings increased by 10.4 percent compared to May 2014, returning the year-to-date order growth rate to positive territory at 1.3 percent. Orders increased 0.9 percent in May compared to the previous month.
“North American PCB sales continued below last year’s level, but orders resumed positive growth and the book-to-bill ratio remains positive for the eighth straight month,” said Sharon Starr, IPC’s director of market research. “This indicates the likelihood of strengthening sales growth in the second half of this year,” she added.
Detailed Data Available
The next edition of IPC’s North American PCB Market Report, containing detailed May 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, 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 USA and Canada. IPC publishes the PCB book-to-bill ratio at the end of each month. Statistics for the current month are available in the last week of the following month.