IPC, Association Connecting Electronics Industries, announced the June 2018 findings from its North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program. Industry shipments and orders in June continued to grow at a strong pace. The book-to-bill ratio for June is 1.05.
Total North American PCB shipments were up 12.6 % compared to the same month last year. This year to date, shipments are 10.5 % above the same period last year. Compared to the preceding month, June shipments increased 18 %. PCB bookings also increased 5.6 % year-over-year. Year-to-date order growth was 12.8 % above the same period last year. Bookings in June were up 5.4 % from the previous month.
“The North American PCB industry growth trend continued in June,” said Sharon Starr, the company’s Director of Market Research. “Sales growth was positive year-over-year for the 10th consecutive month and order growth has been positive for the past 13 months. The book-to-bill ratio retreated in June due to stronger sales growth than order growth, but it remains above parity (1.0) for the 17th consecutive month, which is a positive indicator of continued growth for the remainder of this year.”
Detailed data available
The next edition of the North American PCB Market Report, containing detailed second-quarter 2018 data from the company’s PCB Statistical Program, will be available in August. The quarterly 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 product types and company size tiers, demand for prototypes, sales growth to military and medical markets, and other timely data. This report is available free to current participants in IPC’s PCB Statistical Program and by subscription to others.
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 twelve 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.
The 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. The company 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.