Original Press Release
IPC Releases PCB Industry Results for March 2008
Press release date: April 25, 2008
BANNOCKBURN, Ill., USA, April 25, 2008 - IPC - Association Connecting Electronics Industries® announced today the March findings from its monthly North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program.
PCB Industry Growth Rates and Book-to-Bill Ratios Announced Rigid PCB shipments are up 9.5 percent and bookings are up 16.2 percent in March 2008 from March 2007. Year to date, rigid PCB shipments are up 4.9 percent and bookings are up 15.3 percent. Compared to the previous month, rigid PCB shipments increased 20.6 percent and rigid bookings increased 11.9 percent. The book-to-bill ratio for the North American rigid PCB industry in March 2008 returned to parity at 1.00.
Flexible circuit shipments in March 2008 are up 9.7 percent and bookings are down 29.5 percent compared to March 2007. Year to date, flexible circuit shipments are down 0.2 percent and bookings are down 17.2 percent. Compared to the previous month, flexible circuit shipments are up 26.0 percent and flex bookings rose 30.0 percent. The North American flexible circuit book-to-bill ratio increased to 0.99.
For rigid PCBs and flexible circuits combined, industry shipments in March 2008 increased 9.5 percent from March 2007, and orders booked increased 11.2 percent from March 2007. Year to date, combined industry shipments are up 4.6 percent and bookings are up 12.5 percent. Compared to the previous month, combined industry shipments for March 2008 are up 21.0 percent and bookings are up 13.0 percent. The combined (rigid and flex) industry book-to-bill ratio in March 2008 moved up to 1.00.
"The book-to-bill ratio has returned to parity and March sales of PCBs in North America are up nearly 10 percent over last year" said IPC President Denny McGuirk. "Despite the current economic worries, these numbers look very encouraging." 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 two to three months.
Book-to-bill ratios and growth rates for rigid PCBs and flexible circuits combined are heavily affected by the rigid PCB segment. Rigid PCBs represent an estimated 88 percent of the current PCB market in North America, according to IPC's World PCB Production and Laminate Market Report for the Year 2006.
The Role of Domestic Production IPC's monthly survey of the North American PCB industry tracks bookings and shipments from U.S. and Canadian facilities, which provide indicators of regional demand. These numbers do not measure U.S. and Canadian PCB production. To track regional production trends, however, IPC asks survey participants for the percent of their reported shipments that were produced domestically (i.e., in the USA or Canada). In March 2008, 86 percent of total PCB shipments reported were domestically produced. Domestic production accounted for 84 percent of rigid PCB and 88 percent of flexible circuit shipments in March by IPC's survey participants. These numbers are significantly affected by the mix of companies in IPC's survey sample, which changed slightly in January but will remain constant through the remainder of the year.
Bare Circuits Versus Assembly Flexible circuit sales typically include value-added services such as assembly, in addition to the bare flex circuits. In March, the flexible circuit manufacturers in IPC's survey sample indicated that bare circuits accounted for approximately 56 percent of their shipment value reported for the month. Assembly and other services make up a large and growing segment of flexible circuit producers' business. This figure is also sensitive to changes in the survey sample, which may occur at the beginning of each calendar year.
Interpreting the Data 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 may reflect cyclical effects. Because bookings tend to be more volatile than shipments, changes in the book-to-bill ratios from month to month may not be significant unless a trend of three consecutive months or more is apparent. It is also important to consider changes in bookings and shipments to understand what is driving changes in the book-to-bill ratio.
The information in IPC's monthly PCB industry statistics is based on data provided by a representative sample of both rigid and flexible PCB manufacturers in the USA and Canada. IPC publishes the PCB Book-to-Bill Ratio and the Interconnect Manufacturing Services (IMS) Business Report each month. Statistics for the previous month are not available until the last week of the following month.
About IPC IPC (www.IPC.org) is a global trade association based in Bannockburn, Ill., dedicated to the competitive excellence and financial success of its 2,600 member companies which represent all facets of the electronic interconnect industry, including design, printed circuit board manufacturing and electronics assembly. As a member-driven organization and leading source for industry standards, training, market research and public policy advocacy, IPC supports programs to meet the needs of an estimated $1.5 trillion global electronics industry. IPC maintains additional offices in Taos, N.M.; Arlington, Va.; Garden Grove, Calif.; Stockholm, Sweden; and Shanghai, China.