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

AUGUST 30--IPC--Association Connecting Electronics Industries (Northbrook, IL; www.ipc.org) has announced the findings from its monthly Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program.

Aug 30th, 2004

AUGUST 30--IPC--Association Connecting Electronics Industries (Northbrook, IL; www.ipc.org) has announced the findings from its monthly Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program. The North American PCB industry book-to-bill ratio for July 2004 climbed slightly from June and remained positive at 1.10. This ratio is based on monthly data collected from both rigid PCB and flexible circuit producers that participate in IPC's monthly program. Separately, the book-to-bill ratios in July 2004 were 0.99 for rigid PCBs and 1.57 for flexible circuits.

For rigid PCBs and flexible circuits combined, industry sales billed (shipments) in July 2004 increased 31.1% from July 2003, and orders booked increased 42.2% from July 2003. Compared to 2003, shipments of PCBs are up 34.8% year-to-date, while bookings of PCBs are up 43.0% year-to-date. Combined industry shipments for July 2004 are down 18.1% over the previous month, and bookings are up 1.9% over the previous month.

Both rigid and flex shipments are rebounding from the recession and are showing strong growth, but flex is growing at a faster rate than rigid.

Rigid PCB shipments are up 17.6% and bookings are up 20.5% in July 2004 from July 2003. Year-to-date, rigid PCB shipments have increased 25.5% and bookings have increased 23.1% compared to the same period in 2003. Rigid PCB shipments from the survey sample decreased 21.2% from the previous month and rigid bookings decreased 7.5% from the previous month.

Flexible circuit shipments are up 71.1% and bookings are up 68.9% in July 2004 from July 2003. Year-to-date, flexible circuit shipments have grown 77.8% and bookings have grown 133.2% compared to the same period in 2003. Compared to the previous month, flexible circuit shipments from the survey sample decreased 3.7% and flex bookings increased 56.1%.

Flexible circuit sales, which include some value-added services in addition to the bare flex circuits, represent about 17% of total PCB sales in IPC's survey sample, which IPC considers to be representative of the industry. It is difficult for most flexible circuit manufacturers to break out value-added services, such as assembly, from their circuit sales. Therefore, the amount of value-added services included in this industry segment's sales is not known.

Year-on-year and year-to-date growth rates provide the most meaningful view of industry growth. Month-to-month comparisons should be made with caution as they may reflect cyclical effects. Because bookings tend to be more volatile than shipments, changes in the book-to-bill ratios from month-to-month may not be significant unless a trend of three consecutive months or more is apparent.

For more information, contact IPC director of market research Sharon Starr at SharonStarr@ipc.org or 847-790-5317.

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