Rigid PCB shipments were up 11.4 percent and bookings decreased 7.3 percent in February 2011 from February 2010 while, year to date, rigid PCB shipments were up 7.7 percent and bookings declined 7.5 percent. These were among the findings in the latest industry report from The Association Connecting Electronic Industries, or IPC.

Some highlights of the February report:

Rigid PCB shipments increased 13.2 percent and rigid bookings increased 6.4 percent, compared to the previous month. Meanwhile, flexible circuit shipments in February 2011 were up 8.3 percent and bookings grew 36.3 percent compared to February 2010. Year to date, flexible circuit shipments increased 9.4 percent and bookings were up 19.7 percent. Compared to the previous month, flexible circuit shipments increased 9.3 percent and flex bookings increased 12.6 percent. The North American flexible circuit book-to-bill ratio in February 2011 jumped to 1.10.

For rigid PCBs and flexible circuits combined, industry shipments in February 2011 increased 11.1 percent from February 2010, as orders booked decreased 4.1 percent from February 2010. Year to date, combined industry shipments were up 7.8 percent and bookings were down 5.3 percent. Compared to the previous month, combined industry shipments for February 2011 increased 12.9 percent and bookings increased 7 percent.

“North American PCB sales continued to grow in February, despite the declining book-to-bill ratio in the rigid PCB segment,” said Denny McGuirk, IPC president & CEO. “In rigid PCBs, sales have been growing faster than orders for the past six months, but the opposite is happening in the flexible circuit segment. Sales in both segments are strong and showing normal seasonal patterns, but we’re likely to see stronger growth in flex sales in the coming months.”