The Association Connecting Electronics Industries (IPC) said its shipment and bookings indexes fell sharply in March from the year-ago month, indicating connector and printed-circuit board suppliers are still struggling with weak demand and excess production capacity.
The Interconnect Manufacturing Services and Printed-Circuit Board ((IMS/PCB) Shipment Index tumbled 29%, to 107.4 in March, from 151.6 in March 2002 while the IMS/PCB Bookings Index fell 26% during the same period to 109.3 from 147.1.
On a sequential basis, both the shipment and bookings indexes strengthened slightly, increasing from 103 and 101.4, respectively, in February.
While year-over-year comparisons continue to be dour, the IPC book-to-bill ratio has been improving on a sequential basis, rising in March to 1.04 from as low as 0.91 in October 2002.
The IPC IMS/PCB shipment and bookings indexes provide a snapshot of demand for printed-circuit boards and electronic assembly services.