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PCB Industry Shipments Flat in August
Oct 8, 2012
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Combined industry shipments and bookings of rigid PCBs and flexible circuits in August 2012 were both flat, with 0% growth compared to August 2011, according to IPC - Association Connecting Electronics Industries.

For the year so far, combined industry shipments were down 4.6% and bookings were up 0.2%.

Combined industry shipments for August 2012 increased 6.6% and bookings increased 14.1% from the previous month. The combined (rigid and flex) industry book-to-bill ratio in August 2012 decreased slightly to parity at 1.00.

Rigid PCB shipments were down 0.1% in August 2012 from August 2011. Rigid PCB bookings increased 1.3% from August 2011.

Year to date, rigid PCB shipments were down 4.7% and bookings were up 1.1%.

Rigid PCB shipments were up 7.2% and rigid bookings increased 14.1% in August 2012 from July 2012. The book-to-bill ratio for the North American rigid PCB industry in August 2012 strengthened to 1.02.

Flexible circuit shipments in August 2012 were up 1.7%, and bookings were down 14.7% from August 2011.

For 2012 so far, flexible circuit shipments were down 3.4% and bookings were down 8.5%.

Flexible circuit shipments increased 0.3% and flex bookings were up 13.8% in August 2012 from July 2012. The North American flexible circuit book-to-bill ratio dropped sharply to 0.87, caused by weak orders in July and August.

"Both rigid PCB and flexible circuit orders in August showed solid growth over the prior month, but weak flexible circuit orders over the past two months caused a decrease in the book-to-bill ratio," said Sharon Starr, IPC director of market research. "Flexible circuit orders tend to be volatile, however, and the August results should not be interpreted as a trend. Based on seasonal patterns, we expect to see a stronger performance in September."

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