Original Press Release
IPC Releases PCB Industry Results for December 2009
Press release date: February 1, 2010
BANNOCKBURN, Ill., USA - IPC - Association Connecting Electronics Industries® announced today the December 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 declined 3.4 percent, but bookings were up 27.3 percent in December 2009 from December 2008. Year to date, rigid PCB shipments were down 23.2 percent and bookings fell by 18.1 percent. Compared to the previous month, rigid PCB shipments increased 13.2 percent and rigid bookings increased 23.3 percent. The book-to-bill ratio for the North American rigid PCB industry in December 2009 registered 1.05.
Flexible circuit shipments in December 2009 went down 0.4 percent and bookings decreased 27.4 percent compared to December 2008. Year to date, flexible circuit shipments were down 1.1 percent and bookings were down 4.9 percent. Compared to the previous month, flexible circuit shipments went up 4.9 percent and flex bookings fell by 2.9 percent. The North American flexible circuit book-to-bill ratio in December 2009 slipped back to 0.95.
For rigid PCBs and flexible circuits combined, industry shipments in December 2009 decreased 3.2 percent from December 2008, and orders booked increased 22.1 percent from December 2008. Year to date, combined industry shipments were down 21.7 percent and bookings were down 17.2 percent. Compared to the previous month, combined industry shipments for December 2009 increased 12.6 percent and bookings went up 21.5 percent. The combined (rigid and flex) industry book-to-bill ratio in December 2009 dipped but remained positive at 1.04.
"Growth rates in both sales and orders continued to improve in the rigid PCB sector in December," said IPC President Denny McGuirk. "Orders continued to outpace sales, which is keeping the rigid PCB book-to-bill ratio positive. Although the flexible circuit business was lackluster in December, both sectors of the PCB industry in North America showed typical seasonal patterns. The recovery is continuing, but the road back up is proving to be a long one."
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 six 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 91 percent of the current PCB industry in North America, according to IPC's World PCB Production and Laminate Market Report.
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 December 2009, 86 percent of total PCB shipments reported were domestically produced. Domestic production accounted for 86 percent of rigid PCB and 84 percent of flexible circuit shipments in December by IPC survey participants. These numbers are significantly affected by the mix of companies in IPC's survey sample, which may change slightly in January, but are kept constant through the calendar year.
Bare Circuits versus Assembly Flexible circuit sales typically include value-added services such as assembly, in addition to the bare flex circuits. In December, the flexible circuit manufacturers in IPC's survey sample indicated that bare circuits accounted for approximately 74 percent of their shipment value reported for the month. Assembly and other services make up a large and growing segment of flexible circuit producers' businesses. 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 PCB Statistical Program 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 2,700 member companies which represent all facets of the electronics industry, including design, printed board manufacturing, electronics assembly and test. 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 $1.7 trillion global electronics industry. IPC maintains additional offices in Taos, N.M.; Arlington, Va.; Garden Grove, Calif.; Stockholm, Sweden; Moscow, Russia; and Shanghai and Shenzhen, China.