IPC: PCB Industry Has Not Yet Seen the Manufacturing Turnaround Print E-mail
Written by Chelsey Drysdale   
Thursday, 04 April 2013 20:39

BANNOCKBURN, IL – While North American manufacturing begins another slow recovery and leading indicators point to modest business expansion in the coming months, the PCB industry has not yet felt the effects of this turnaround, says IPC.

A report, published this week, shows what market segments underlie the 10% contraction in February PCB sales compared to February last year.

The flexible circuit board segment was particularly hard hit after a strong start in January, the firm says.

“Monthly data can be very volatile, especially in the flexible circuit segment of the PCB industry,” said IPC market research director Sharon Starr. “Actual trends only emerge from several months of data.”

Flexible circuit board sales in North America strengthened in the second half of 2012, and the book-to-bill ratio, while in negative territory, has steadily increased since October.

Orders increased slightly in the rigid PCB segment in February, pushing the total PCB book-to-bill ratio up to 1.06. After a long, slow decline in 2012, the PCB book-to-bill ratio has been positive since January, says IPC.

“The decline in PCB sales from January to February was a bit surprising in light of seasonal trends, but it reflects the negative book-to-bill ratios in the fourth quarter of 2012,” added Starr. “The ratio has been trending up for the past three months and is now in positive territory. This suggests that the PCB industry’s recovery is merely delayed, and we hope to see some improvement in the coming months.”





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