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© mpanch dreamstime.com PCB | July 01, 2013

PCB Book-to-Bill ration remains strong

The PCB book-to-bill ratio stayed strong for the sixth consecutive month, remaining at 1.10, an indication that recovery from nearly a two-year slump may be starting.
Total North American PCB shipments were down 4.4 percent in May 2013 from May 2012, but bookings increased 8.3 percent year over year. Year to date, PCB industry shipments were down 4.9 percent and bookings were down 0.3 percent.

Compared to the previous month, PCB shipments in May increased 0.9 percent, and bookings grew by 6.5 percent. Bookings have outpaced shipments for the past six months. The PCB book-to-bill ratio held steady in May at a strong 1.10.

Flexible circuit sales continued to strengthen in May, while rigid PCB sales continued to lag behind last year’s levels. Orders went in the opposite direction, with flex orders experiencing negative year-on-year growth while rigid PCB orders outpaced 2012.

“PCB sales and orders have been below last year’s levels for most months of the past year, but they have been improving in recent months,” said Sharon Starr, IPC director of market research. “Order growth rates have improved faster than sales growth rates, which accounts for the positive book-to-bill ratios of past five months,” she explained. “PCB sales are slowly emerging from almost a two-year slump, but the recent positive order growth makes the sales outlook for the second half of this year more promising.”

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