IPC announced today the September findings from itsmonthly North American PrintedCircuit Board (PCB)Statistical Program. Sales growth continued in September and the book-to-billratio fell back to a more normal but still positive 1.05.
Total North American PCB shipments increased 3.3 percentin September 2015 compared to September 2014. Year-to-date shipment growthfinally reached positive territory at 0.3 percent, after struggling to overcomenegative sales growth rates seen earlier this year. Compared to the previousmonth, PCB shipments were up 12.1 percent.
PCB bookings decreased 2.0 percent compared to September2014, reducing year-to-date order growth to 5.2 percent. Orders were down 7.4percent in September compared to the previous month.
“The North American PCB industry continues to see modestbut positive sales growth, the result of strong order growth in most months of2015. Orders contracted in September bringing the book-to-bill ratio down froma 5-year high in August to a more moderate level,” said Sharon Starr, IPC’sdirector of market research. “The book-to-bill ratio remains positive for the12th consecutive month,” she added, “which is a strong indicator of positivesales growth in the fourth quarter of this year and into next year.”
Detailed Data Available
The next edition of IPC’s North American PCB MarketReport,containing detailed September data from IPC’s PCB Statistical Program,will be available within the next week. The monthly report presents detailedfindings on rigid PCB and flexible circuit sales and orders, including separaterigid and flex book-to-bill ratios, military and medical market growth, demandfor prototypes, and other timely data. This report is available free to currentparticipants in IPC’s PCB Statistical Program and by subscription to others.
Interpreting the Data
The book-to-bill ratios are calculated by dividing thevalue of orders booked over the past three months by the value of sales billedduring the same period from companies in IPC’s survey sample. A ratio ofmore than 1.00 suggests that current demand is ahead of supply, which is apositive indicator for sales growth over the next three to six months. A ratioof less than 1.00 indicates the reverse.
Year-on-year and year-to-date growth rates provide themost meaningful view of industry growth. Month-to-month comparisons should bemade with caution as they reflect seasonal effects and short-term volatility.Because bookings tend to be more volatile than shipments, changes in thebook-to-bill ratios from month to month might not be significant unless a trendof more than three consecutive months is apparent. It is also important toconsider changes in both bookings and shipments to understand what is drivingchanges in the book-to-bill ratio.
IPC’s monthly PCBindustry
statisticsare based on data provided by a representative sample of both rigid PCB andflexible circuit manufacturers selling in the USA and Canada.IPC publishes the PCB book-to-bill ratio at the end of each month. Statisticsfor the current month are available in the last week of the following month.