May North American PCB Orders Up 8.3% Print E-mail
Written by Chelsey Drysdale   
Friday, 28 June 2013 18:39

BANNOCKBURN, IL – Total North American PCB shipments fell 4.4% year-over-year in May, but orders increased 8.3% compared to last year.

The printed circuit board book-to-bill ratio stayed strong for the sixth consecutive month, remaining at 1.10 in May, an indication that recovery from nearly a two-year slump may be starting, IPC said today.

A ratio of more than one suggests current demand is ahead of supply, which is a positive indicator for sales growth over the next three to six months.

Year to date through May, PCB shipments are down 4.9%, and orders are down 0.3%. Sequentially, May shipments increased 0.9%, while orders grew 6.5%. Orders have now outpaced shipments for the past six months.

Flex circuit board sales continued to strengthen in May, while rigid board sales continued to lag behind last year’s levels, says IPC. Orders went in the opposite direction, with flex board orders declining year-over-year, while rigid PCB orders outpaced 2012.

“PCB sales and orders have been below last year’s levels for most months of the past year, but they have been improving in recent months,” said Sharon Starr, IPC director of market research. “Order growth rates have improved faster than sales growth rates, which accounts for the positive book-to-bill ratios of the past five months,” she said. “PCB sales are slowly emerging from almost a two-year slump, but the recent positive order growth makes the sales outlook for the second half of this year more promising.”

In May, 86% of total PCB shipments were domestically produced. The remainder were built overseas and resold by US factories.





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