IPC releases IMS/PCB book-to-bill ratio and IMS/PCB business report

MARCH 26--IPC-Association Connecting Electronics Industries (Northbrook, IL; www.ipc.org) has announced the findings from its monthly Interconnect Manufacturing Services (IMS)/Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program.

MARCH 26--IPC-Association Connecting Electronics
Industries (Northbrook, IL; www.ipc.org) has announced the findings from its monthly Interconnect Manufacturing Services (IMS)/Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program. The North American IMS/PCB Industry book-to-bill ratio for February 2004 remained firm at 1.08. The ratio is calculated by averaging the index numbers for orders
booked over the past three months and dividing by the average index numbers for sales billed during the same period. A ratio of more than 1.00 suggests that current demand is ahead of supply, which indicates probable near-term growth.

Industry sales billed (shipments) in February 2004 increased 27.5% from February 2003, and orders booked increased 42.3% from February 2003. Compared to 2003, shipments of PCBs are up 27.9% year-to-date, while bookings of PCBs are up 30.9% year-to-date.

The IPC statistical report tracks the dynamics of the US IMS industry; it reported the IMS/PCB shipment index was 131.4 and the IMS/PCB booking index was 144.4 for February 2004. The IPC IMS/PCB shipment index in February 2004 increased 11.3% from 118.1 in January 2004, and the IPC IMS/PCB booking index in February 2004 increased 15.3% from 125.2 in January 2004.

The index shows how current PCB shipments and bookings relate to an index point. In this case, 1992 was chosen as the index point because it was a stable growth year for US PCB manufacturers. A shipment index number of 117.0, for example, indicates that shipments are 17% higher than average shipments for the same time period in 1992.

Data reported by current participants in IPC's monthly survey tell a positive story. These participating companies report that their shipments increased 32.0% in February 2004 over February 2003, and their orders booked increased 50.6% in February, year-over-year. Year-to-date, current survey participants report shipments have increased 28.6%, and bookings have increased 33.6% over the same period in 2002. Together, these figures show a North American PCB industry that is rebounding, with companies currently in the industry doing better than last year.

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