APRIL 29, 2009--IPC - Association Connecting Electronics Industries (Bannockburn, IL, USA; www.ipc.org) has reported the March findings from its monthly North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program.
Rigid PCB shipments are down 30.5% and bookings are down 39.8% in March 2009 from March 2008. Year-to-date, rigid PCB shipments are down 24.6% and bookings are down 35.6%. Compared to the previous month, rigid PCB shipments increased 9.6% and rigid bookings increased 10.5%. The book-to-bill ratio (B:B) for the North American rigid PCB industry in March 2009 remained below parity but moved up slightly to 0.92.
Flexible circuits shipments in March 2009 are up 1.0%, and bookings are down 12.0% compared to March 2008. Year-to-date, flexible circuit shipments are up 6.0% and bookings are down 7.4%. Compared to the previous month, flexible circuit shipments are up 22.3% and flex bookings are up 15.0%. The North American flexible circuit B:B ratio in March 2009 dropped to 0.87.
For rigid PCBs and flexible circuits combined, industry shipments in March 2009 decreased 28.3% from March 2008 and orders booked decreased 38.0% from March 2008. Year-to-date, combined industry shipments are down 22.7% and bookings are down 34.0%. Compared to the previous month, combined industry shipments for March 2009 are up 10.7% and bookings are up 10.9%. The combined (rigid and flex) industry B:B ratio in March 2009 was 0.91.
"Sales and orders improved in March over the first two months of the year due to seasonal effects, but year-on-year growth in rigid PCBs is still down significantly," says IPC president Denny McGuirk. "Orders are still lagging behind sales, which suggests that sales will continue to weaken for the next quarter."