Combined rigid PCB and flexible circuits industry shipments in April 2012 were down 4.5% from April 2011 and orders booked were down 8.3% from April 2011, according to IPC -- Association Connecting Electronics Industries. Year to date, combined industry shipments were down 6.0% and bookings were up 0.8%. Combined industry shipments for April 2012 decreased 10.6% and bookings decreased 13.5% from March 2012. The combined, rigid and flex industry book-to-bill ratio in April 2012 decreased slightly but continued in positive territory at 1.04.
Rigid PCB shipments were down 3.6% in April 2012 from April 2011. Bookings were down 8.6% from April 2011. Year to date, rigid PCB shipments were down 5.8% and bookings were up 1.2%. Compared to March 2012, rigid PCB shipments were down 10.5% and rigid bookings were down 13.0%. The book-to-bill ratio for the North American rigid PCB industry in April 2012 remained above parity at 1.03.
Flexible circuit shipments in April 2012 were down 13.8%, and bookings were down 5.2% from April 2011. Year to date, flexible circuit shipments were down 8.9% and bookings were down 2.4%. Compared to March 2012, flexible circuit shipments were down 10.9% and flex bookings were down 18.8%. The North American flexible circuit book-to-bill ratio remained high at 1.16.
"April PCB sales and orders in North America continued slightly below last year's levels and reflected normal seasonal patterns," said Sharon Starr, IPC director of market research. "The good news is that the book-to-bill ratio continued to be positive for the fifth consecutive month. When orders exceed sales, there is potential for sales growth over the next three to six months."
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