IPC reports further improvement in PCB sales and orders for December 2009

IPC has announced the December findings from its monthly North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program.

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IPC—Association Connecting Electronics Industries (Bannockburn, IL, USA) has announced the December findings from its monthly North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program.

Rigid PCB shipments declined 3.4%, but bookings were up 27.3% in December 2009 from December 2008. Year-to-date, rigid PCB shipments were down 23.2% and bookings fell by 18.1%. Compared to the previous month, rigid PCB shipments increased 13.2% and rigid bookings increased 23.3%. The book-to-bill (B:B) ratio for the North American rigid PCB industry in December 2009 registered 1.05.
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Flexible circuit shipments in December 2009 went down 0.4% and bookings decreased 27.4% compared to December 2008. Year-to-date, flexible circuit shipments were down 1.1% and bookings were down 4.9%. Compared to the previous month, flexible circuit shipments went up 4.9% and flex bookings fell by 2.9%. The North American flexible circuit B:B ratio in December 2009 slipped back to 0.95.

For rigid PCBs and flexible circuits combined, industry shipments in December 2009 decreased 3.2% from December 2008, and orders booked increased 22.1% from December 2008. Year-to-date, combined industry shipments were down 21.7% and bookings were down 17.2%. Compared to the previous month, combined industry shipments for December 2009 increased 12.6% and bookings went up 21.5%. The combined (rigid and flex) industry B:B ratio in December 2009 dipped but remained positive at 1.04.

“Growth rates in both sales and orders continued to improve in the rigid PCB sector in December,” says IPC president Denny McGuirk. “Orders continued to outpace sales, which is keeping the rigid PCB book-to-bill ratio positive. Although the flexible circuit business was lackluster in December, both sectors of the PCB industry in North America showed typical seasonal patterns. The recovery is continuing, but the road back up is proving to be a long one.”

Book-to-bill ratios and growth rates for rigid PCBs and flexible circuits combined are heavily affected by the rigid PCB segment. Rigid PCBs represent an estimated 91% of the current PCB industry in North America, according to IPC’s World PCB Production and Laminate Market Report.

-- Posted by Carrie Meadows, Vision Systems Design

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