FEBRUARY 24--IPC--Association Connecting Electronics Industries (Bannockburn, IL), a global trade association of 2300 member companies representing all facets of the electronic interconnection industry, including design, printed-circuit-board manufacturing, and electronics assembly, has announced its findings from its monthly Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program. The North American rigid PCB industry book-to-bill ratio for January 2006 remained strong at 1.09, and the North American flexible circuit book-to-bill ratio jumped back up to 1.30. Rigid PCB shipments are up 1.9%, and bookings are up 13.0% in January 2006 from January 2005. Flexible-circuit shipments are up 16.5%, and bookings are down 15.4% year-on-year. For rigid PCBs and flexible circuits combined, industry shipments in January 2006 increased 2.7% from January 2005, and orders booked increased 10.8% from January 2005.
The book-to-bill ratios and growth rates for rigid PCBs and flexible circuits combined are heavily affected by the rigid PCB segment, which represents more than 75% of the current PCB market in North America. The influence of flexible circuits is growing, however, as flexible-circuit shipments have shown stronger growth than rigid PCBs over the past two years.
IPC's monthly survey of the North American PCB industry tracks bookings and shipments from US and Canadian facilities, which provide indicators of regional demand. These numbers do not measure US and Canadian PCB production. IPC asks survey participants for the percent of their reported shipments that were produced domestically (in the USA or Canada). In January 2006, 88% of total PCB shipments reported were domestically produced. Domestic production accounted for 88% of rigid PCB and 87% of flexible-circuit shipments in January by IPC's survey participants. These numbers are significantly affected by the mix of companies in IPC's survey sample, which remains constant throughout each calendar year, but may change at the beginning of each year.
Flexible-circuit sales typically include value-added services, such as assembly, in addition to the bare flex circuits. In January, the flexible-circuit manufacturers in IPC's survey sample indicated that bare circuits accounted for about 77% of their shipment value reported for the month. Assembly and other services make up a large and growing segment of flexible-circuit producers' business. This figure is also sensitive to changes in the survey sample, which may occur at the beginning of each calendar year.
For more information, contact IPC director of market research Sharon Starr at SharonStarr@ipc.org or 847-597-2817.