Combined rigid and flex circuits B:B ratio rises above 1.0

JUNE 25, 2009--The combined (rigid and flex) industry B:B ratio in May 2009 climbed to 1.02.

JUNE 25, 2009--IPC - Association Connecting Electronics Industries (Bannockburn, IL, USA; www.ipc.org) has released the May findings from its monthly North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program.

Rigid PCB shipments were down 34.2% and bookings were down 25.7% in May 2009 from May 2008. Year-to-date, rigid PCB shipments were down 29.0% and bookings were down 32.2%. Compared to the previous month, rigid PCB shipments grew 3.6% and rigid bookings decreased 1.1%. The book-to-bill (B:B) ratio for the North American rigid PCB industry in May 2009 continued to climb and reached 1.03.

Flexible circuit shipments in May 2009 are down 3.0% and bookings are down 12.9% compared to May 2008. Year-to-date, flexible circuit shipments are up 2.5% and bookings are down 7.1%. Compared to the previous month, flexible circuit shipments declined 10.4% and flex bookings are down 11.8%. The North American flexible circuit B:B ratio in May 2009 inched up to 0.96.

For rigid PCBs and flexible circuits combined, industry shipments in May 2009 decreased 32.2% from May 2008 and orders booked decreased 24.8% from May 2008. Year-to-date, combined industry shipments are down 26.9% and bookings are down 30.7%. Compared to the previous month, combined industry shipments for May 2009 are up 2.1% and bookings are down 2.1%. The combined (rigid and flex) industry B:B ratio in May 2009 climbed to 1.02.

"After 12 consecutive months in negative territory, the book-to-bill ratio has finally climbed above 1.0 and that is good news for the industry," says IPC President Denny McGuirk. "It is a good indicator of sales growth over the next few months. Sales growth is already starting to turn the corner," he adds. "Even though year-over-year sales growth is still negative, growth rates in the rigid PCB segment improved slightly over the previous month."

The B:B 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 two to three months.

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

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