PCB Industry Results for April 2012
Jun 28, 2012
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Combined rigid PCBs and flexible circuit industry shipments in May 2012 were down 2.6% from May 2011 and orders booked increased 10.6% from May 2011, according to the IPC -- Association Connecting Electronics Industries. Year to date, combined industry shipments were down 5.3% and bookings were up 2.6% from the same time period in 2011. Combined industry shipments for May 2012 increased 1.7% from April 2012 and bookings increased 3.3% from April 2012. The combined industry book-to-bill ratio in May 2012 was down slightly but continued in positive territory at 1.03.

Rigid PCB shipments were down 1.9% in May 2012 from May 2011, while bookings were up 12.0% year over year. Year to date, rigid PCB shipments were down 5.0% and bookings were up 3.1%. Compared to the previous month, rigid PCB shipments were up 2.0% and rigid bookings were up 1.9%. The book-to-bill ratio for the North American rigid PCB industry in May 2012 remained above parity at 1.02.

Flexible circuit shipments in May 2012 were down 10.0%, and bookings were down 1.1% from May 2011. Year to date, flexible circuit shipments were down 9.1% and bookings were down 2.1%. May 2012 flexible circuit shipments were down 2.6% from April 2012, while flex bookings were up 19.8%. The North American flexible circuit book-to-bill ratio remained high at 1.17.

"North American PCB sales and orders in May continued slightly below last year's levels and reflected normal seasonal patterns," said Sharon Starr, IPC director of market research. "The May book-to-bill ratio remained positive for the sixth consecutive month and was especially strong for the flexible circuit segment of the industry. This reinforces our hope that sales will gain strength in the second half of this year."

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