August 2017 PCB Order Growth Boosts Book-to-Bill Ratio
Strong year-on-year growth in orders drove the book-to-bill ratio up to 1.15 in August.
IPC-Association Connecting Electronics Industries® recently announced the August 2017 findings from its monthly North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program. Strong year-on-year growth in orders drove the book-to-bill ratio up to 1.15 in August.
Total North American PCB shipments in August 2017 were down 0.6% compared to the same month last year. This year to date, shipments are 4% percent below the same period last year. Compared to the preceding month, August shipments increased 3.1%. PCB bookings in August 2017 increased 17.2% year-on-year, driving year-to-date order growth up to 4% above the same period last year. Bookings in August were up 3.6% compared to the previous month.
“Strong growth in North American PCB orders in recent months, combined with negative growth in sales, drove the book-to-bill ratio in August to a 12-year high of 1.15,” said Sharon Starr, IPC’s director of market research. “Unusually fast growth in flexible circuit orders and growing demand from the military and aerospace market are two of the drivers. The ratio has been above parity for seven consecutive months, indicating a possible recovery in sales by the end of this year.”
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 12 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. 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.
For more information, visit www.ipc.org.