BANNOCKBURN, IL – North American printed circuit board sales growth continued in December, closing 2015 up 0.4% over 2014, says IPC.
The book-to-bill ratio returned to parity at 1.0 in December, up 20 basis points over November. 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. The ratio topped 1.0 every month except one in 2015.
Total North American PCB shipments increased 0.6% for the month compared to 2014. Year-to-date shipment growth remained at 0.4%. In December, year-to-date growth reflects the entire year of 2015 over 2014. Sequentially, PCB shipments were up 6.7%.
PCB orders rose 1.5% year-over-year. Year-to-date order growth in December, representing the full year, was up 2.5% over 2014. Orders in December were 6.4% ahead of orders in November.
“Although North American PCB industry sales ended 2015 just slightly ahead of 2014, orders have grown a bit faster,” said Sharon Starr, IPC’s director of market research. “This, and the long run of positive book-to-bill ratios in 2015, falling below parity for just one month, indicates the likelihood of continued slow growth in 2016.”