North American PCB Orders Spike in December 2017
Total North American PCB shipments in December 2017 were up 3.7% compared to the same month in the prior year.
IPC-Association Connecting Electronics Industries® recently announced the December 2017 findings from its North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program. Positive year-over-year shipment and order growth continued in December. Due to a sharp increase in orders in December, the book-to-bill ratio climbed to 1.15.
Total North American PCB shipments in December 2017 were up 3.7% compared to the same month in the prior year. Shipments ended 2017 down 1.8% compared to the prior year. Compared to the preceding month, December shipments increased 12%. PCB bookings in December grew 33.9% year-over-year, resulting in annual 2017 order growth of 8% above the prior year. Bookings in December were up 29.1% compared to the previous month.
“Year-over-year sales growth for the North American PCB industry was positive for the fourth consecutive month,” said Sharon Starr, IPC’s director of market research. “Better still, strong bookings growth and 11 consecutive months of positive book-to-bill ratios support a rosy outlook for continued sales growth in 2018.”
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. For more information, visit www.ipc.org.