Combined rigid PCBs and flexible circuit industry shipments in February 2012 were down 2.3% from February 2011, according to IPC -- Association Connecting Electronics Industries. Combined orders booked increased 6.5% from February 2011. Year to date, combined industry shipments were down 2.9% and bookings were up 6.3%.
Compared to the previous month, combined industry shipments for February 2012 were up 6.0% and bookings were up 6.0%. The combined (rigid and flex) industry book-to-bill ratio in February 2012 improved to 1.04.
Rigid PCB shipments were down 1.9% in February 2012 from February 2011, but bookings were up 6.9% year over year. Year to date, rigid PCB shipments were down 2.5% and bookings were up 8.8%. Compared to the January 2012, rigid PCB shipments were up 5.9% and rigid bookings were up 4.3%. The book-to-bill ratio for the North American rigid PCB industry in February 2012 climbed to 1.04.
Flexible circuit shipments in February 2012 were down 6.4% and bookings were up 1.8% from February 2011. Year to date, flexible circuit shipments were down 7.1% and bookings were down 14.9%. Compared to January 2012, flexible circuit shipments were up 7.4% and flex bookings were up 26.0%. The North American flexible circuit book-to-bill ratio rose to 1.10.
"Growth rates for both rigid PCB and flexible circuit sales in North America are improving," said Sharon Starr, IPC director of market research. "Although year-on-year sales growth rates are still negative, they are moving up and nearing positive territory. Order growth was especially strong in February and it pushed the book-to-bill ratio up to 1.04, indicating that sales are likely to continue strengthening for the next several months."
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