Annual IPC studies show PCB industry beating the market in growth

SEPTEMBER 10, 2009-- According to electronics market research firm IPC, the forecast for North American PCB production is down for 2009 but shows growth resuming in 2010.

SEPTEMBER 10, 2009--According to electronics market research firm IPC ( Bannockburn, IL, USA; www.ipc.org), the forecast for North American PCB production is down for 2009 but shows growth resuming in 2010. North American PCB manufacturers managed to push sales growth in 2008 slightly above 2007 levels, despite declines in the market for PCBs and PCB production in North America. Rigid PCB and flexible circuit producers have very different expectations for sales growth in 2009. These are some of the highlights from four newly or soon-to-be released annual studies from IPC Market Research.

According to IPC's "World PCB Production and Laminate Market Report for the Year 2008," the world market for PCBs reached an estimated $50.786 billion in 2008, up 1% over 2007. PCB production in North America, estimated at $4.114 billion, is down 6.5% from the previous year. This report contains estimates of PCB production value and laminate market in area by country and by product type, along with commentary on regional trends. The estimates were developed through a consensus process involving seven of the world's leading industry experts. This report is due to be published in September and will be available to IPC members as a free download from IPC's members-only web page.

The PCB industry growth forecast, published in the "2008-2009 Industry Analysis and Forecast for Rigid PCBs in North America," shows world production declining in 2009 by 20% to $40.6 billion worldwide. North American production is expected to end the current year at about 15% below 2008 but will start climbing again in 2010. The Rigid PCB report also includes data on average costs of panels and PCBs for various product categories, as well as data on laminates purchased and trends in multilayer production. Both the Rigid report and a Flex report include data on imports and exports and number of companies in the industry.

According to IPC's "2008-2009 Industry Analysis and Forecast for Flexible Circuits in North America," the North American market for flexible circuits declined almost 10% in 2008 to an estimated $441 million. This decline reflects the loss of some companies in the PCB industry and the continued movement of end-product manufacturing to other regions.

PCB manufacturers that remain active in North America, however, did better than the market in 2008. Rigid PCB manufacturers reported flat (0%) sales growth and flexible circuit producers reported 17% sales growth in 2008, despite declines in both markets.

IPC's "2008-2009 Industry Analysis and Forecast for Rigid PCBs in North America" and the "2008-2009 Industry Analysis and Forecast for Flexible Circuits in North America" were published this summer. They are based on surveys of North American PCB manufacturers conducted earlier in 2009. The reports are free to companies that participated in the surveys. They are available for sale to nonmembers in IPC's online store.

IPC also co-publishes the "WECC Global PCB Production Report." Its estimates of PCB production value are contributed by the eight associations that make up the World Electronic Circuits Council (WECC). The 2008 report was published this summer and is also available to IPC members as a free download.


-- Posted by Carrie Meadows, Vision Systems Design, www.vision-systems.com

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