NOVEMBER 25--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 IPC PCB Presidents Council selected IMS as a better designation for the PCB industry to better reflect the services provided to customers.
Climbing for the sixth consecutive month, the North American IMS/PCB industry book-to-bill ratio for October 2003 was 1.18. 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 October 2003 decreased 6.6% from October 2002, and orders booked increased 20.4% from October 2002. Compared to 2002, shipments of PCBs are down 20.8% year-to-date, while bookings of PCBs are down 10.2% year-to-date.
The IMS/PCB Business Report, an IPC statistical report that tracks the dynamics of the US IMS industry, reported the IMS/PCB shipment index was 111.5 and the IMS/PCB booking index was 131.2 for October 2003. The IPC IMS/PCB shipment index in October 2003 decreased 7.7% from 120.8 in September 2003, and the IPC IMS/PCB booking index in October 2003 decreased 4.3% from 137.1 in September 2003.
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.
The indices are calculated by setting the base year (1992) equal to 100 and then multiplying the monthly growth rates of the actual shipments and bookings by the corresponding index number.
These figures show a North American PCB industry that has contracted, but the companies that remain in the industry are doing better than last year.