A newly released report from the Association Connecting Electronic Industries, or IPC, showed rigid PCB shipments were down 1.9 percent in February 2012 from February 2011, but bookings increased 6.9 percent year over year. Meanwhile, flexible circuit shipments in February 2012 were down 6.4 percent and bookings were up 1.8 percent compared to February 2011. Compared to the previous month, flexible circuit shipments increased 7.4 percent and flex bookings were up 26.0 percent.
For rigid PCBs and flexible circuits combined, industry shipments in February 2012 decreased 2.3 percent from February 2011, while orders booked increased 6.5 percent from February 2011. Year to date, combined industry shipments were down 2.9 percent and bookings were up 6.3 percent. Compared to the previous month, combined industry shipments for February 2012 increased 6.0 percent and bookings also increased 6.0 percent. The combined (rigid and flex) industry book-to-bill ratio in February 2012 improved markedly to 1.04.
“Growth rates for both rigid PCB and flexible circuit sales in North America are improving,” said Sharon Starr, IPC director of market research. “Although year-on-year sales growth rates are still negative, they are moving up and nearing positive territory. Order growth was especially strong in February and it pushed the book-to-bill ratio up to 1.04, indicating that sales are likely to continue strengthening for the next several months.”
The complete February 2012 IPC report is available online.