BANNOCKBURN, IL – May rigid PCB shipments at North American fabricators fell 14.8%, while bookings dropped 12.2% from last year, according to the latest data from IPC.

The combined book-to-bill ratio remained just above parity at 1.01.

Shipments of all PCB types fell 14.5% compared to last year, and orders decreased 11.2%. Year to date, shipments are down 10.3%, and bookings are off 15.6%.  Compared to the previous month, combined industry shipments are up 7.2%, and bookings are up 1.9%.

The book-to-bill for rigid PCBs dipped to 0.98. That means that for every $100 worth of boards sold, $98 worth were ordered. IPC says the ratio indicates rigid PCB sales over the next two to three months will likely continue at roughly the same level as in the first half of the year. 

Year to date, rigid PCB shipments are down 10.9%, and bookings are down 17.7%.  Sequentially, rigid shipments rose 6.7% and bookings increased 2.1%. 

Flex circuit demand is on the rise, as the book-to-bill climbed to 1.32 in May. Shipments were down 10.1%, but bookings rose 2.9% year-over-year.

Year to date, flexible circuit shipments are up 0.7%, and bookings are up 23.8%. Shipments increased 15.7% over April, while bookings fell 0.4%.
 
TEMPE, AZ – "Following a weak first quarter, the manufacturing sector rebounded in a strong fashion during the second quarter.”

That’s according to Norbert J. Ore, chair of ISM’s Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. The trade group said June manufacturing expanded at its fastest pace since April 2006.

The May PMI was 56%, the institute reported. New orders were at 60.3%, up 0.7 of a point from the previous month. Production reached 62.9%, up 4.6 points from April. The backlog of orders was up one point, while customers’ inventories were down one point. The data showed inventories were contracting.

According to Ore, business is on strong footing. “This performance appears sustainable in the third quarter due to the current strength in new orders and production," he said.

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in June for the fifth consecutive month, while the overall economy grew for the 68th consecutive month, said ISM.

SAN FRANCISCO – The latest poll of the nation’s CIOs says IT budgets will grow 7.2% during the next year, up from 5.1% in March, says Deutsche Bank. The June poll results rebounded strongly, reversing four consecutive down quarters.

Spending projections improved for all but the largest companies, which DB believes bodes well for improving corporate spending in the second half of the year.

Results for small (101-500) and very small firms (1-100) strengthened in June, with CIOs expecting 11% and 9% growth in the next 12 months (vs. 10% and 2% in March), respectively. Medium firms (501-1,000) were optimistic, expecting 7% growth (vs. 4% in March), while large firms (1,001-5,000) and very large firms (>5,000) were less optimistic, with CIOs expecting 5% growth (vs. 3% and 7% in March, respectively), says the report.

Storage Systems was the top spending priority in the June Poll, with 54.1% of respondents planning to increase spending (vs. 46.3% in March). Security Software took the second spot with 41.6% of respondents planning to increase spending (vs. 43.5% previously), followed by Computer Hardware at 40.8% (vs. 45.5% previously).

Medium-size companies led results for Storage and Computer Hardware for the third consecutive quarter, with 78.6% (vs. 62.5% previously) predicting increased Storage budgets. In addition, Computer Hardware was also a priority for medium-size firms, with 60.0% (vs. 56.3% in March) of CIOs expecting increased spending.

Of the respondents to DB questions, 54.4% said they had implemented server virtualization, while 21.6% cited they were seriously considering it; 7.1%, 15% and 21.3% cited they had reduced server spending by roughly 50%, 30% and 10%, respectively. However, 15% cited they had not reduced server spending through virtualization.
 
EL SEGUNDO, CA – The market for Internet TV service will reach $5.8 billion in 2011, up 13.7 times from $422.7 million in 2006, iSuppli Corp. predicts.

The Web is quickly growing into the world’s largest on-demand, interactive video library. The Internet also is evolving into the most ubiquitous video distribution platform ever known, says the firm.

iSuppli notes that as more consumer electronic devices like TVs, DVD players, game consoles, iPods and portable gadgets become Web-connected, Internet TV will leap from computer screens into the consumer’s primary media environment: the living room TV.

With Internet TV, content owners face the trade-off of “reach” versus “control,” while video network operators face a new way to reach consumers, as well as a new competitive threat that could put pressure on their long-term position in the market.

Meanwhile, a variety of Internet portal companies, content delivery networks, software platform companies and other technology providers embrace the revenue opportunity, says the researcher.

iSuppli also found that while news was the largest revenue category for advertising supporting professionally generated Internet TV in 2006, it will be third by 2009, behind sports and entertainment. Also, bandwidth required for Internet TV will grow by more than 44 times from 2006 to 2011 to almost 7 million Tebibytes, the company says.

Internet TV will be dominated by North America and Western Europe, says iSuppli. Regions such as Latin America and Eastern Europe will not have significant Internet TV penetration through 2011.

SAN FRANCISCODeutsche Bank remains optimistic that PC unit growth will accelerate through year-end.

The firm believes current expectations of 10 to 11% unit growth will trend up toward the company’s previous estimate of 15% year-over-year growth, the result of continued strength in emerging markets, consumer and the beginning stages of a corporate PC upgrade cycle in the second half of the year. 

Inventory correction has been largely cleared and manufacturing trends are firming, says DB. A relatively benign PC pricing environment continues, the company adds.

Evidence of an accelerating PC demand trend is visible among Taiwanese manufacturers; Quanta Computer increased its forecast to 30 to 50% year-over-year growth up from 20 million units shipped last year.

More broadly, Asian PC demand is tracking to 10 to 12% year-over-year unit growth in the June quarter, with early indications suggesting 10 to 15% in the September quarter. 

Overall, demand appears normal, the firm said, with a slow and steady ramp expected into the second half of the year. 

Motherboard units accelerated in May to up 17% year-over-year. Notebook data have also remained strong, with Taiwan notebook units up 63% year-over-year in May, accelerating from 37% growth in April. Notebooks are expected to be up 41% in the second half of the year.

LCD pricing has strengthened recently, DB said. Overall LCD pricing is up 5% in May versus the first-quarter average. 

Notebook and desktop pricing was relatively stable this quarter, with average ASPs for notebooks down 1%.
 
FRANKFURT - The printed circuit board (PCB) market in Germany grew 14% sequentially in March 2007, according to the VdL (Association of the Printed Circuit Board Industry) and the Electronic Components and Systems Group of the ZVEI.

Meanwhile, the PCB market for the first quarter of the year is at the same level as last year.

However, incoming orders slid by 9% compared to February, but VdL and ZVEI attribute this to the large orders in the first half of last year from Asia.The demand remains flat; however VdL and ZVEI are optimistic of the German PCB market this year due to the new lead-free requirements. Book-to-bill ratio was 0.85 in March and 1.0 for the first quarter of the year.

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