Rigid PCB shipments were up 5.1 percent and bookings decreased 10.1 percent in March 2011 from March 2010, according to a newly released report from the Association Connecting Electronic Industries, or IPC. Year to date, rigid PCB shipments were up 6.7 percent and bookings declined 8.5 percent. Compared to the previous month, rigid PCB shipments increased 14.9 percent and rigid bookings increased 26.0 percent. Flexible circuit shipments in March 2011 were up 9.1 percent and bookings declined 7.4 percent compared to March 2010. Year to date, flexible circuit shipments increased 9.3 percent and bookings were up 9.6 percent. Compared to the previous month, flexible circuit shipments increased 15.0 percent and flex bookings decreased 13.2 percent. The North American flexible circuit book-to-bill ratio in March 2011 moderated to 1.04.
For rigid PCBs and flexible circuits combined, industry shipments in March 2011 increased 5.4 percent from March 2010, as orders booked decreased 9.9 percent from March 2010. Year to date, combined industry shipments were up 6.9 percent and bookings were down 7.1 percent. Compared to the previous month, combined industry shipments for March 2011 increased 14.9 percent and bookings increased 21.9 percent.
“North American PCB sales in March were strong, following normal seasonal patterns, and sales of both rigid PCBs and flexible circuits are still ahead of last year,” said IPC President & CEO Denny McGuirk. “Stronger sales than orders is the dynamic keeping the book-to-bill ratio holding slightly below parity, which indicates slowing growth over the next quarter.”
The book-to-bill ratio for the North American rigid PCB industry in March 2011 remained at 0.94, while the combined (rigid and flex) industry book-to-bill ratio in March 2011 held steady at 0.95. Note: A ratio of 1.00 indicates current demand is ahead of supply.
The full March 2011 PCB Report is available online.