Combined rigid PCBs and flexible circuits industry shipments in March 2012 were down 12.2% from March 2011, according to IPC - Association Connecting Electronics Industries. Orders booked increased just 0.2% from March 2011. Year to date, combined industry shipments were down 6.5% and bookings were up 4.1%. Compared to the previous month, combined industry shipments for March 2012 increased 11.0% and bookings increased 8.8%. The combined (rigid and flex) industry book-to-bill ratio in March 2012 were up to 1.06.
Rigid PCB shipments were down 12.6% in March 2012 from March 2011 and bookings were down 2.2%. Year to date, rigid PCB shipments were down 6.4% and bookings were up 4.6%. Compared to the previous month, rigid PCB shipments were up 10.6% and rigid bookings were up 9.1%. The book-to-bill ratio for the North American rigid PCB industry in March 2012 improved to 1.05.
Flexible circuit shipments in March 2012 were down 7.2% while bookings were up 34.5% from March 2011. Year to date, flexible circuit shipments were down 7.2% and bookings were down 1.5%. Compared to the previous month, flexible circuit shipments were up 17.0% and flex bookings were up 5.3%. The North American flexible circuit book-to-bill ratio was up to 1.18.
"PCB sales in North America in March continued to reflect normal seasonal patterns," said Sharon Starr, IPC director of market research. "Orders continued to outpace sales," she added, "pushing the book-to-bill ratio up for the fourth consecutive month, and that bodes well for sales growth in the next quarter."
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