Year to date, rigid printed circuit board shipments were up 19.5 percent and bookings have grown 25.4 percent, IPC research shows. Compared to the previous month, rigid printed circuit board shipments decreased 14.3 percent and rigid bookings decreased 21.1 percent.
In the category of flexible circuits, shipments in October 2010 were up 14.7 percent and bookings grew 25.2 percent compared to October 2009. Year to date, flexible circuit shipments increased 11 percent, with bookings climbing 19.4 percent. Compared to the previous month, flexible circuit shipments decreased 18.6 percent and flex bookings decreased 10.9 percent.
For rigid printed circuit board and flexible circuits combined, industry shipments in October 2010 increased 13.7 percent from October 2009, as orders booked decreased 0.8 percent from October 2009. Year to date, combined industry shipments were up 18.8 percent and bookings were up 24.9 percent. Compared to the previous month, combined industry shipments for October 2010 decreased 14.7 percent and bookings decreased 20.3 percent. The combined—both rigid and flex—industry book-to-bill ratio in October 2010 slipped just under parity at 0.99.
The North American flexible circuit book-to-bill ratio in October 2010 climbed back to parity at 1, while the book-to-bill ratio for the rigid printed circuit board sector fell below parity to 0.98 during the same period. 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.
“Printed circuit board sales have continued to grow and now are back to about where they were in October 2008, just before the downturn hit the industry in North America,” said Denny McGuirk, IPC president & CEO. “The book-to-bill ratio has trended downward in the past five months as the growth in orders has slowed, signaling a plateau in the recovery.”