Printed circuit board (PCB) shipments decreased 2.3 percentin July compared to July 2013, while new orders for boards dropped 6.3 percent,according to Association Connecting Electronics Industries (IPC).
New orders and shipments also declined from June 2014, the association said. Bookings (orders) fell 14.4 percent in July compared to the previous month, while billings (shipments) dropped 13 percent in July compared to June.
The board book-to-bill ratio for July was 1.00, the same as June. A ratio of 1.00 means board manufacturers received $100 in new orders for every $100 of boards that they shipped in July.
A ratio of more than 1.00 suggests that current demand is ahead of supply, which indicates sales growth over the next three to six months, according to IPC.
“July is typically a slow month for the PCB industry and this year is no exception,” said Sharon Starr, IPC’s director of market research. “The PCB book-to-bill ratio has been hovering around 1.00 since February, which explains the flat year-to-date sales growth we are seeing,” she said. The lowest the ratio has been this year is 0.95 in January.
Board shipments and bookings figures are for both rigid boards and flexible circuits.
The overall North American printed circuit board market has been declining since 2001 because more electronics manufacturing has moved to Asia. In 2013 the North American printed circuit board market totaled about $3 billion, according to IPC.
However, the rate of decline has slowed because the rate of off shoring by electronics companies has slowed and some companies have brought back manufacturing to North America, the association said.