BANNOCKBURN, Ill., USA, January 31, 2017 — IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries announced today the December 2016 findings from its monthly North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program. Sales growth in December was solid while the PCB book-to-bill ratio slipped to 0.98.
Total North American PCB shipments in December 2016 were up 5.9 percent compared to the same month last year. Year-to-date as of December, shipment growth is up 2.9 percent. Compared to the preceding month, December shipments increased 12.3 percent.
PCB bookings in December decreased by 2.2 percent year-on-year, reducing year-to-date bookings growth to -0.7 percent. Compared to the previous month, orders in December 2016 were up by 11.6 percent.
“Year-on-year growth in North American PCB sales and orders both strengthened in December, even though order growth remained negative compared to last year,” said Sharon Starr, IPC’s director of market research. “The North American PCB book-to-bill ratio remained in negative territory for only the second consecutive month, which is a typical seasonal pattern in the PCB industry and not a cause for concern,” she added. “Order growth is likely to resume in early 2017.”
Detailed Data Available
The next edition of IPC’s North American PCB Market Report , containing detailed December data from IPC’s PCB Statistical Program, will be available next week. The monthly report presents detailed findings on rigid PCB and flexible circuit sales and orders, including separate rigid and flex book-to-bill ratios, growth trends by company size tiers, 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 normally available in the last week of the following month.