North American Printed Circuit Board Sales and Orders Continue to Climb in January 2018
North American PCB bookings in January 2018 grew 25.3% year-over-year.
IPC-Association Connecting Electronics Industries® recently announced the January 2018 findings from its North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program. Both sales and orders were up year-over-year in January. Due to continued strong order growth in January, the book-to-bill ratio climbed to a 12-year high of 1.16. Total North American PCB shipments in January 2018 were up 9.8% compared to the same month last year. Compared to February 2018, January shipments decreased 8.5%. While PCB bookings in January grew 25.3% year-over-year, they were down 13.9% compared to February 2018.
“Year-over-year sales growth for the North American PCB industry continued to climb in January, and growth was positive for the fifth consecutive month,” said Sharon Starr, IPC’s director of market research. “Strong bookings growth also continued, pushing the book-to-bill ratio to its highest point since September 2005. This performance, capping 12 consecutive months of positive book-to-bill ratios, offers a strong indication of continued sales growth in the first half of 2018.”
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 twelve 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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