February N. American PCB Orders Up 6.5% PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chelsey Drysdale   
Friday, 30 March 2012 13:16

BANNOCKBURN, IL – North American printed circuit board shipments in February decreased 2.3% year-over-year, while orders increased 6.5%, says IPC.

Year to date, shipments were down 2.9% and orders were up 6.3%. Sequentially, shipments for February increased 6% and orders increased 6%. The book-to-bill ratio rose 1.04. A ratio of more than 1.0 suggests current demand is ahead of supply, and is considered a positive indicator for sales growth over the next two to three months.

Rigid board shipments in February were down 1.9% year-over-year, but orders were up 6.9% compared to the same month last year. Year to date, rigid board shipments decreased 2.5% and orders increased 8.8%. Sequentially, rigid PCB shipments increased 5.9% and orders increased 4.3%. The rigid board book-to-bill ratio climbed to 1.04.

Flex circuit board shipments were down 6.4% and orders were up 1.8% compared to February 2011. Year to date, flex shipments decreased 7.1%, while orders dropped 14.9%. Sequentially, shipments increased 7.4% and orders were up 26%. The flex book-to-bill ratio rose to 1.10.

“Growth rates for both rigid PCB and flexible circuit sales in North America are improving,” said Sharon Starr, IPC director of market research. “Although year-on-year sales growth rates are still negative, they are moving up and nearing positive territory,” she added. “Order growth was especially strong in February, and it pushed the book-to-bill ratio up to 1.04, indicating that sales are likely to continue strengthening for the next several months.”

Rigid PCBs represent an estimated 89% of the current industry in North America, says IPC.

In February, 85% of total shipments were domestically produced. Domestic production accounted for 85% of rigid and 83% of flex board shipments.

Bare circuits accounted for about 42% of flex board shipment value reported for the month.



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