APRIL 28, 2008--IPC-Association Connecting Electronics Industries (Northbrook, IL, USA; www.ipc.org), a global trade association of 2400 member companies representing all facets of the electronic interconnection industry, announced its findings from its March 2008 North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program. Rigid PCB shipments were up 9.5% and bookings were up 16.2% in March 2008 from March 2007. Year to date, rigid PCB shipments were up 4.9% and bookings were up 15.3%. Compared to the previous month, rigid PCB shipments increased 20.6% and rigid bookings increased 11.9%. The book-to-bill ratio for the North American rigid PCB industry in March 2008 returned to parity at 1.00.
Flexible circuit shipments in March 2008 were up 9.7% and bookings were down 29.5% compared to March 2007. Year to date, flexible circuit shipments were down 0.2% and bookings were down 17.2%. Compared to the previous month, flexible circuit shipments were up 26.0% and flex bookings rose 30.0%. The North American flexible circuit book-to-bill ratio increased to 0.99.
For rigid PCBs and flexible circuits combined, industry shipments in March 2008 increased 9.5% from March 2007, and orders booked increased 11.2% from March 2007. Year to date, combined industry shipments are up 4.6% and bookings are up 12.5%. Compared to the previous month, combined industry shipments for March 2008 are up 21.0% and bookings are up 13.0%. The combined (rigid and flex) industry book-to-bill ratio in March 2008 moved up to 1.00.
"The book-to-bill ratio has returned to parity, and March sales of PCBs in North America were up nearly 10% over last year," said IPC president Denny McGuirk. "Despite the current economic worries, these numbers look very encouraging."