IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries® announced today the June findings from its monthly North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program. Sales growth was flat in June, but orders were up and the book-to-bill ratio returned to parity.
Flat Sales and Growing Orders Reported in June
Total North American PCB shipments decreased 0.9 percent in June 2014 from June 2013, leaving year-to-date shipment growth flat at -0.3 percent. Compared to the previous month, PCB shipments were up 9.1 percent.
PCB bookings increased by 4.2 percent compared to June 2013, making this the first year-on-year bookings increase in eight months. This increase improved year-to-date order growth, which now stands at -6.0 percent. Order growth jumped 28.3 percent in June over the previous month.
The North American PCB book-to-bill ratio returned to parity at 1.00 in June.
“The PCB book-to-bill ratio has been hovering around 1.00 since February, which explains the flat year-to-date sales growth we are seeing,” said Sharon Starr, IPC’s director of market research. “This month’s growth in orders is a positive sign, however, and if it continues we can expect to see sales improve later this year,” she added.
Detailed Data Available
The next edition of IPC’s North American PCB Market Report,containing detailed June data from IPC’s PCB Statistical Program, will be available in early August. The monthly report presents detailed findings on rigid PCB and flexible circuit sales and orders, including separate rigid and flex book-to-bill ratios, military and medical market growth, demand for prototypes, and other timely data. This report is available free to current participants in IPC’s PCB Statistical Program and by subscription to others. More information about this report can be found at www.ipc.org/market-research-reports.
Interpreting the Data
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.
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 USA and Canada. IPC publishes the PCB book-to-bill ratio at the end of each month. Statistics for the current month are not available until the last week of the following month.