North American PCB Orders Up, Sales Down in July 2017
Positive year-on-year growth in orders and negative growth in sales continued, driving the book-to-bill ratio up to 1.09 in July.
IPC-Association Connecting Electronics Industries® recently announced the July 2017 findings from its monthly North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program. Positive year-on-year growth in orders and negative growth in sales continued, driving the book-to-bill ratio up to 1.09 in July.
Total North American PCB shipments in July 2017 were down 6.2% compared to the same month last year. This year to date, shipments are 4.4% below the same period last year. Compared to the preceding month, July shipments decreased 22.3%. PCB bookings in July increased 8% year-on-year, driving year-to-date order growth up to 2.5% above the same period last year. Bookings in July were down 19.8% compared to the previous month.
“Results for the North American PCB industry in July continued a trend of sales below last year’s levels and growth in bookings,” said Sharon Starr, IPC’s director of market research. “This combination of factors pushed the book-to-bill ratio still higher in July. The ratio has been above parity for six consecutive months, indicating the prospect of a recovery in sales by the end of this year. The steep declines in month-to-month growth rates should not raise alarms, as these reflect normal seasonal patterns.”
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.
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