News from WECC Members

7 February 2017

North American PCB Sales Enjoyed Solid Growth in December

IPC Releases PCB Industry Results for December 2016


IPC have 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

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.


C Global Policy Framework-2017

Creating Jobs and Building Tomorrow’s Advanced Manufacturing Economy

As an advocate for more than 3,900 member companies, representing all facets of the $2 trillion global electronics industry, IPC works to advance a public policy agenda in three broad areas:

Promoting a 21st Century Economy and Workforce

IPC members support policies that drive broad-based economic growth and competitiveness. Among its priorities, IPC advocates for lower corporate tax rates and incentives that stimulate business investment, and for international trade agreements to advance open and fair trade between countries. IPC – itself a provider of many education and training opportunities – endorses ambitious workforce development initiatives, especially in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). We support immigration policies that allow for international mobility among highly-skilled workers to ensure that companies have access to the talent they need to be globally competitive.

Driving Technological Innovation and Advanced Manufacturing

For more than 60 years, IPC members have supplied high-reliability electronics for defense, transportation, aerospace, industrial, medical, and other applications. Staying competitive in a global economy requires continuous investment in basic and applied research and development (R&D) as well as advanced manufacturing innovation. For this reason, IPC advocates for government initiatives that bolster R&D and advanced manufacturing innovation. For example, IPC is a strong supporter of public-private partnerships such as the innovation institutes established through Manufacturing USA in the United States and the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany. Furthermore, IPC continues to promote strong intellectual property protection and strives to prevent counterfeit products in the supply chain through our standards initiatives and advocacy efforts.

Advocating for Smart Regulation and Environmental Policy  

Manufacturers in many parts of the world face a complex and overwhelming regulatory compliance burden that negatively impacts their abilities to develop innovative technology, create jobs, and compete in a global marketplace. Often times, regulations, such as those on conflict minerals, are overly burdensome and do not achieve the intended result. IPC strongly supports efforts among governments to reform their regulatory processes to ensure greater public scrutiny and a balance among risks, costs and benefits based on the best available scientific research. IPC also supports voluntary environmental initiatives and thorough, life-cycle evaluations of substances and their alternatives prior to any restrictions.


 IPC North American EMS and PCB Statistical Programs Open

January 20, 2017 — IPC’s North America statistical programs for the rigid PCB, flexible circuit and contract electronics manufacturing (EMS) industries are now open to new participants for 2017. The deadline for IPC members to sign up is February 3. Participation is free to IPC-member companies as a benefit of membership.

The statistical programs give participating IPC members access to monthly market data that would be impossible for them to collect themselves and prohibitively expensive for individual companies to obtain from research firms. As a neutral and trusted third party, IPC collects sales, orders, backlogs and other business and technical data from the participating companies using a secure and confidential online survey system. In exchange, these companies receive monthly aggregate data revealing the latest growth and market trends for the industry. Aggregate data are segmented by product categories and by company size tiers.

Participating companies use this monthly data in their marketing, sales, planning and budgeting activities. It helps them to track changes in their market shares, compare their performance against industry averages in their size tiers and product segments, and identify growing and declining markets. These statistical programs have been running for decades and include many of the region’s leading PCB and EMS companies.

To ensure consistent survey samples for the year, participants must commit to completing every monthly survey for 2017. Participants’ data are due by the 15th of every month. IPC members interested in participating this year should contact IPC at or by phone at +1 847-597-2868, by February 3.


IPC Invites Member-Company Executives to Help Build

“Pulse-of-the-Industry” Data Service

  IPC has announced plans to develop a new statistical service designed to give members timely insight on the state of the electronics industry. IPC member-company executives are invited to help build this program by participating in an organizational meeting at IPC APEX EXPO in San Diego on Thursday, February 16.                                                                                                                                             With the working title “Pulse of the Industry,” the new service will be a survey-based statistical program for the top executives of IPC-member companies in all manufacturing segments of the industry worldwide. The confidential surveys will collect data on key business measurements and activities that are important indicators of the health of the industry, both nationally and internationally. The resulting data will be available at no cost to the program’s participants. Additional expert analysis and insights will be available by subscription in a separate report.

         “This is a great opportunity for IPC-member executives to get in on the ground floor and help shape this new program to meet their needs” said Sharon Starr, IPC director of market research. “We’re looking forward to working with company leaders on this exciting new initiative.”

The organizational meeting is open to all interested executives of IPC-member companies. It will be held at the San Diego Convention Center on February 16 from 1:00 to 2:00 pm. For more information or to indicate interest in this meeting, IPC members should contact Starr at or +1 847-597-2817 by Friday, February 10.

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