Rigid PCB shipments for the North American market were down 5.3 percent in September 2012 from September 2011, reports the industry association IPC.
Rigid PCB shipments were down 5.3 percent in September 2012 from September 2011, and bookings decreased 1.8 percent year over year. Year to date, rigid PCB shipments decreased 4.7 percent and bookings increased 0.8 percent. Compared to the previous month, rigid PCB shipments were up 10.3 percent and rigid bookings were flat with 0 percent growth. The book-to-bill ratio for the North American rigid PCB industry in September 2012 slipped to 1.00.
Flexible circuit shipments in September 2012 were down 19.9 percent, and bookings were down 20.9 percent compared to September 2011. Year to date, flexible circuit shipments decreased 5.8 percent and bookings decreased 9.7 percent. Compared to the previous month, flexible circuit shipments increased 5.3 percent and flex bookings were down 4.4 percent. The North American flexible circuit book-to-bill ratio dropped to 0.71.
For rigid PCBs and flexible circuits combined, industry shipments in September 2012 were down 6.7 percent and bookings decreased 3.3 percent, compared to September 2011. Year to date, combined industry shipments were down 4.8 percent and bookings were down 0.2 percent. Compared to the previous month, combined industry shipments for September 2012 increased 9.8 percent and bookings decreased 0.3 percent. The combined (rigid and flex) industry book-to-bill ratio in September 2012 fell below parity to 0.97.
“North American PCB sales in September continued below 2011 sales, but improved over the preceding month, following normal seasonal patterns,” said Sharon Starr, IPC director of market research. “Sharp declines in flexible circuit orders over the past three months pushed the overall PCB book-to-bill ratio below parity,” she added, “but the volatility of the flex business means this effect will probably be short-lived.”
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