Electronic printed circuit board shipments down nearly 20 percent in January

BANNOCKBURN, Ill., 1 March 2009. Shipments of rigid printed circuit boards (PCBs) were down 18.9 percent and bookings were down 30.7 percent in January 2009 from January 2008, say experts at the IPC electronics industry trade association in Bannockburn, Ill.

BANNOCKBURN, Ill., 1 March 2009. Shipments of rigid printed circuit boards (PCBs) were down 18.9 percent and bookings were down 30.7 percent in January 2009 from January 2008, say experts at the IPC electronics industry trade association in Bannockburn, Ill.

The book-to-bill ratio for the North American rigid PCB industry in January 2009 slipped further to 0.88.

Flexible circuit shipments in January 2009, meanwhile, were up 16.6 percent and bookings were down 1.8 percent compared to January 2008. The North American flexible circuit book-to-bill ratio declined to 0.98.

For rigid PCBs and flexible circuits combined, industry shipments in January 2009 decreased 17.0 percent from January 2008, and orders booked decreased 29.3 percent from January 2008, IPC says. The combined (rigid and flex) industry book-to-bill ratio in January 2009 fell to 0.89.

"Sales and orders of rigid PCBs declined sharply in January compared to January 2008, but flexible circuit sales were surprisingly strong," says IPC President Denny McGuirk. "Orders in both segments of the industry were down compared to last year, and this is reflected in the continuing downward trend of the book-to-bill ratio.

"The industry has not hit the bottom yet, but we will continue to watch the leading indicators, such as our book-to-bill ratio, for signs of an upturn," McGuirk says.

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.

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

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