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Printed Circuit Board Shipments Heat Up in August

Rigid PCB shipments and flexible circuit shipments were up 24.3 percent and 35.7 percent in August, respectively, according to the latest report from the Association Connecting Electronic Industries, or IPC.

Along with shipments, bookings for rigid printed circuit boards increased 22.1 percent in August 2010 vs. August 2009, with flexible circuit bookings climbing 61.8 percent over the same period, according to IPC. Year to date, rigid PCB shipments were up 20.4 percent and bookings have grown 33.2 percent. Compared to the previous month, rigid PCB shipments increased 5.4 percent and rigid bookings increased 1.5 percent. Year to date, flexible circuit shipments increased 9.2 percent and bookings were up 22.6 percent. Compared to the previous month, flexible circuit shipments decreased 7.6 percent, with flexible circuit bookings growing 12.9 percent.

For rigid printed circuit boards and flexible circuits combined, industry shipments in August 2010 increased 25.2 percent from August 2009, as orders booked increased 25 percent from August 2009. Year to date, combined industry shipments were up 19.5 percent and bookings were up 32.3 percent. Compared to the previous month, combined industry shipments for August 2010 increased 4.1 percent and bookings increased 2.5 percent.

Meanwhile, the book-to-bill ratio for the North American rigid printed circuit board industry in August 2010 remained positive, but fell off slightly to 1.08. By comparison, the North American flexible circuit book-to-bill ratio in August 2010 remained positive, but fell to 1.01. The combined—rigid and flex—industry book-to-bill ratio in August 2010 slipped to 1.07. Note: 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.

“Year-on-year sales growth continued in the double digits in August,” said Denny McGuirk, IPC president and CEO “The book-to-bill ratio is positive for the 16th consecutive month, which indicates solid sales growth for the rest of 2010. Book-to-bill ratios have been trending downward since reaching a peak last May, especially in the flexible circuit segment, mainly due to strong sales growth.”

The full August Statistical report is available online at IPC’s website.

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