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© AT&S (For illustration purposes only) PCB | June 16, 2011

PCB market continues to boom

The PCB market continues its boom. The March sales for German manufacturers closed 11.6% higher than in February 2011. Compared to March 2010, figures were 15% higher, reports the ZVEI PCB and Electronic Systems.
Sales for the 1Q/2011 (cumulative) increased 20% compared to 1Q/2010. Many manufacturers continue to operate on maximum capacity.

Order intake, compared to February 2011, increased 18%. However, when compared to March 2010, figures decreased 13.5%. Figures for the 1Q were also 10% below those from 1 year ago. Nevertheless, the order intake in absolute terms (long-term average) is still on a record level, as these figures have been topped only twice during the last decade.

When comparing YoY figures, one has to consider the unusually increase in demand that occurred in late 2009/early 2010. The previous shortage of components - in response to capacity reductions due to the financial crisis - had led many companies to start 'panic buys' and many placed double orders (to ensure sufficient supply). These orders were later postponed and adapted to actually supply needs. This can therefore not be seen as a tipping point or trend reversal.

© ZVEI

The book-to-bill ratio for March 2011 stands at 0.95. Although this is below par, demand is still good - especially for the segment Industrial Electronics.

Staff numbers increased slightly and are now 9% higher than those recorded for March of 2010, yet still 2% below those of pre-crisis March 2008.

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