Total North American PCB shipments decreased 4.4% in May 2013 compared to May 2012, while bookings were up 8.3% year over year, according to IPC-Association Connecting Electronics Industries.
Year to date, PCB industry shipments decreased 4.9% and bookings were down 0.3% compared to the previous year.
PCB shipments in May 2013 were up 0.9%, from April 2013. Bookings were up 6.5%. Bookings have outpaced shipments for the past six months. The association said the PCB book-to-bill ratio held steady in May at a strong 1.10, indicating that recovery may be starting from a slump that has lasted almost two years.
Flexible circuit sales strengthened in May 2013 as rigid PCB sales lagged behind 2012 levels.
Flexible circuit orders, however, showed negative year-on-year growth. Rigid PCB orders outpaced 2012.
"PCB sales and orders have been below last year's levels for most months of the past year, but they have been improving in recent months," said Sharon Starr, IPC director of market research. "Order growth rates have improved faster than sales growth rates, which accounts for the positive book-to-bill ratios of past five months," she explained. "PCB sales are slowly emerging from almost a two-year slump, but the recent positive order growth makes the sales outlook for the second half of this year more promising."
to Daily News