North American PCB Business Growth Accelerates
IPC recently announced the March 2016 findings from its monthly North American PCB Statistical Program.
IPC (Association Connecting Electronics Industries) recently announced the March 2016 findings from its monthly North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program. According to the report, sales growth accelerated in March and order growth rebounded. Bookings outpaced shipments, but the book-to-bill ratio held steady at 1.02.
Total North American PCB shipments in March came in 10.3% above March of last year, bringing the year-to-date growth rate up to 6.1% for the first quarter. Compared to the preceding month, March shipments were up 18.6%. PCB bookings in March increased 10.5% year-on-year, boosting year-to-date bookings growth for the first quarter to 3.5%. Orders in March 2016 were up 28.1% from the previous month.
“March was a good month for the North American PCB industry, with strong growth in both sales and orders,” said Sharon Starr, director of market research. “This is a welcome change from no growth in 2015, and the first quarter’s positive book-to-bill ratios support an expectation of continued growth in the second quarter.”
A book-to-bill 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 U.S. and Canada.
For more information, visit www.ipc.org.