Orders for printed circuit boards in January shoot up 22.2 percent over last year

Posted by John Keller

BANNOCKBURN, Ill., 28 Feb. 2010. Orders for North American rigid and flexible printed circuit boards shot up by 22.2 percent in January over the same month last year, while the circuit board book-to-bill ratio held steady at 1.05 percent, say market analysts at the IPC ? Association Connecting Electronics Industries in Bannockburn, Ill.

Shipments of North American printed circuit boards, meanwhile, were down 2.1 percent in January compared with the same month last year, IPC experts say.

Flexible circuit board shipments in January were down 4.1 percent but bookings were up 59.3 percent compared to January 2009. The North American flexible circuit book-to-bill ratio climbed above parity to 1.03.

Rigid circuit board shipments are down 2 percent while bookings increased 19.8 percent in January 2010 from January 2009. The book-to-bill ratio for the North American rigid PCB industry in January 2010 remained strong at 1.06, IPC experts say.

"The best news from our January printed circuit board surveys is the huge growth in orders compared to January of last year," says IPC President Denny McGuirk. "Sales are still down slightly from last year but are increasing steadily. The book-to-bill ratio for all printed circuit boards has stayed above one percent for nine months now, indicating continued sales growth in 2010."

The book-to-bill ratios are calculated by dividing the value of orders booked over the past three months by the value of sales billed during the same period from companies in IPC's survey sample. A ratio of more than 1.00 suggests that current demand is ahead of supply, which is a positive indicator for sales growth over the next two to three months.

Book-to-bill ratios and growth rates for rigid printed circuit boards and flexible circuits combined are heavily affected by the rigid printed circuit board segment. Rigid printed circuit boards represent an estimated 90 percent of the current printed circuit board industry in North America.

For more information contact the IPC online at www.ipc.org.

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