A newly released survey from the Association Connecting Electronics Industries, or IPC, show rigid PCB shipments were down 3.6 percent and bookings were up 0.1 percent in December 2011 from December 2010. Year to date, rigid PCB shipments decreased 1.9 percent and bookings declined 8.8 percent.

Compared to the previous month, rigid PCB shipments increased 7.2 percent and rigid bookings increased 10.7 percent. The book-to-bill ratio for the North American rigid PCB industry in December 2011 reached parity at 1.00.1

Flexible circuit shipments in December 2011 were down 19.8 percent and bookings decreased 27.7 percent compared to December 2010. Year to date, flexible circuit shipments decreased 2.5 percent and bookings decreased 0.4 percent. Compared to the previous month, flexible circuit shipments increased 2.9 percent and flex bookings were down 10.7 percent. The North American flexible circuit book-to-bill ratio in December 2011 grew to 1.03.

For rigid PCBs and flexible circuits combined, industry shipments in December 2011 decreased 5.1 percent from December 2010, as orders booked decreased 2.8 percent from December 2010. Year to date, combined industry shipments were down 1.9 percent and bookings were down 8.1 percent. Compared to the previous month, combined industry shipments for December 2011 increased 6.9 percent and bookings increased 8.7 percent. The combined (rigid and flex) industry book-to-bill ratio in December 2011 increased to 1.00.

“North American PCB sales in December increased over the prior month and the book-to-bill ratio strengthened, reaching parity for the first time since last summer,” said Sharon Starr, IPC market research director. “North American PCB sales ended the year down 5.1 percent over 2010, but current indicators point to a resumption of modest growth in 2012."


  1. The book-to-bill ratios are calculated by dividing the value of orders booked over the past three months by the value of sales billed during the same period from companies in IPC’s survey sample. 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.