North American PCB Industry Rebound Continues
Total North American printed circuit board shipments in February 2018 were up 8.8% compared to the same month last year.
IPC-Association Connecting Electronics Industries® recently announced the February 2018 findings from its North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program. Year-over-year shipment and order growth continued in February, and the book-to-bill ratio climbed to 1.17. Total North American PCB shipments in February 2018 were up 8.8% compared to the same month last year. This year to date, shipments are 9.3% above the same period last year. Compared to the preceding month, February shipments decreased 0.9%.
PCB bookings in February 2-18 increased 7.2% year-over-year, raising year-to-date order growth to 15.9% above the same period last year. Bookings in February were down 7.1% compared to the previous month.
“The North American PCB industry continued its robust recovery in February, with positive year-over-year sales growth for the sixth consecutive month,” said Sharon Starr, IPC’s director of market research. “The outlook is also positive, based on strong order growth in recent months, and on the PCB book-to-bill ratio, which is above parity (1.0) for the 13th consecutive month and reached a new 12-year high in February.”
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 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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