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4 April 2019

North American PCB Business Growth Continues, January Results Revised

IPC Releases PCB Industry Results for February 2019

IPC have announced the February 2019 findings from its North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program. Sales and orders both experienced solid year-over-year growth in February and the book-to-bill ratio strengthened to 1.06. Based on revised data from the industry, January business results made a much stronger showing than originally reported.

Total North American PCB shipments in February 2019 were up 13.9 percent, following a 15.5 percent rise in January, compared to the same months last year. Year-to-date sales growth in February was 14.7 percent. Compared to the preceding month, February shipments decreased 5.2 percent.

PCB bookings in February increased 10.7 percent year-over-year, after decreasing 1.7 percent in January. Year-to-date order growth in February was up 4.4 percent. Bookings in February were up 8.8 percent from the previous month.

“Revised January data from the North American PCB industry brought welcome changes to the 2019 business results to date,” said Sharon Starr, IPC’s director of market research. “After slowing growth in the latter part of 2018, strong growth has returned in 2019. The book-to-bill ratio rebounded from a corrected level of 1.02 in January to 1.06 in February, indicating the likelihood of continued sales growth in the coming months.”

Detailed Data Available

The first-quarter 2019 edition of IPC’s North American PCB Market Report, containing detailed data from IPC’s PCB Statistical Program, will be published in May. 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. PCB companies that are IPC members doing business in North America are invited to contact marketresearch@ipc.org for information about participating. 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 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.

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.

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