MARCH 5--IPC--Association Connecting Electronics Industries (Bannockburn, IL, USA; www.ipc.org), a global trade association of 2400 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 2007 continued below parity at 0.91. The North American flexible circuit book-to-bill ratio edged up to 0.93.
Rigid PCB shipments are down 3.5%, and bookings are down 19.2% in January 2007 from January 2006. Flexible circuit shipments in January 2007 were up 14.3%, and bookings were down 10.6% compared to January 2006. For rigid PCBs and flexible circuits combined, industry shipments in January 2007 decreased 2.6% from January 2006, and orders booked decreased 18.7% from January 2006.
"January is typically a slow month in the PCB business," said IPC president Denny McGuirk, "but a trend toward slower growth in 2007 is clearly emerging in the book-to-bill ratios, which have been below parity for four consecutive months. This is consistent with what we see happening in the economy." He continued, "The good news is that we see signs of recovery in the flexible circuit segment of the industry."
The 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 85% of the current PCB market in North America, according to IPC's World PCB Production and Laminate Market Report for the Year 2005.