Bannockburn, Ill. IPC Association Connecting Electronics Industries has released the August findings from its monthly North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program, which reveals that shipments for rigid PCB and flexible circuits are down by more than 10 percent.
Rigid PCB shipments fell 10.1 percent and bookings decreased 5.1 percent in August 2007 from August 2006. Year to date, rigid PCB shipments are down 10.4 percent and bookings are down 13.4 percent. However, when compared to the previous month, rigid PCB shipments increased 9.8 percent and rigid bookings grew 12.8 percent. The book-to-bill ratio for the North American rigid PCB industry in August 2007 climbed to 1.06.
Flexible circuit shipments declined 24.7 percent and bookings fell 10.0 percent in August 2007 from August 2006. Year to date, flexible circuit shipments are down 5.4 percent and bookings are up 6.3 percent. Compared to the previous month, flexible circuit shipments increased 0.4 percent and bookings rose by 17.7 percent. The North American flexible circuit book-to-bill ratio rose to 1.07 in August.
"While the industry is still around 10 percent below last year's sales levels, it is holding steady," said IPC president Denny McGuirk, in a statement. "Bookings looked especially strong in August, which indicates the potential for strong sales over the next quarter," he added.
Combined industry shipments for rigid PCBs and flexible circuits in August 2007 decreased 11.1 percent from August 2006, and orders booked decreased 5.4 percent from August 2006. Year to date, combined industry shipments are down 10.1 percent and bookings are down 12.3 percent. Compared to the previous month, combined shipments for August 2007 increased 9.2 percent and bookings improved by 13.1 percent. The combined industry book-to-bill ratio in August 2007 grew to 1.06.
Other findings show that 87 percent of total PCB shipments reported were domestically produced, and bare circuits accounted for about 84 percent of flexible circuit manufacturer shipment value reported for August 2007.
Rigid PCBs represent an estimated 88 percent of the current PCB market in North America, according to IPC. Year-on-year and year-to-date growth rates provide the most meaningful view of industry growth, while month-to-month comparisons should be viewed with caution as they may reflect cyclical effects, according to IPC.