Shipments of printed circuit boards (PCB) were flat in June, but new orders increased and the book-to-bill ratio reached parity, according to the Association Connecting Electronics Industries (IPC).
North American PCB shipments decreased 0.9 percent in June 2014 compared to June 2013, but increased 9.1 percent compared to May, the association said. Year-to-date shipments were down 0.3 percent.
New orders for boards increased by 4.2 percent compared to June 2013. It was the first year-on-year bookings increase in eight months, according to IPC. Order growth jumped 28.3 percent in June over May. However, year-to-date order growth stands at negative 6.0 percent.
The North American PCB book-to-bill ratio returned to parity at 1.00 in June, compared to 0.98 in May, the association said. It had been 1.01 in March and April before falling in May.
A ratio of 1.00 means that board manufacturers received $100 of new orders for every $100 of orders that they shipped in June. A ratio of more than 1.00 suggests that demand is greater than current supply and is apositive indicator for sales growth over the next three to six months.
“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,” said Sharon Starr, IPC’s director of market research. She added that June’s growth in orders was a positive sign for the industry and “if it continues we can expect to see sales improve later this year.”
IPC’s order and shipment and book to bill ratio is based on monthly PCB industry data for rigid PCB and flexible circuits.