North American PCB Business Sees Normal Seasonal Slowdown
IPC has released the PCB industry results for July 2014, showing that the North American PCB business is seeing a normal seasonal slowdown.
IPC announced the July findings from its monthly North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program. Sales and orders were weaker in July, but the book-to-bill ratio held steady at parity.
Total North American PCB shipments decreased 2.3% in July 2014 from July 2013, leaving year-to-date shipment growth flat at -0.6%. Compared to the previous month, PCB shipments were down 13.0%. PCB bookings decreased by 6.3% compared to July 2013, putting the year-to-date order growth rate at -6.1%. Order growth declined 14.4% in July compared to the previous month. The North American PCB book-to-bill ratio remained at parity at 1.00 in July.
“July is typically a slow month for the PCB industry and this year is no exception,” said Sharon Starr, IPC’s director of market research. “The PCB book-to-bill ratio has been hovering around 1.00 since February, which explains the flat year-to-date sales growth we are seeing.”
The next edition of IPC’s North American PCB Market Report, containing detailed July data from IPC’s PCB Statistical Program, will be available in the 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, 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.
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 US and Canada. IPC publishes the PCB book-to-bill ratio at the end of each month. Statistics for the current month are not available until the last week of the following month.