Bannockburn, IL — According to the monthly IPC North American PCB Market Report, the trend in North American PCB production has been downward since 2001, mainly driven by the movement of electronics manufacturing to Asia. The recovery in 2010 represents a one-time correction in the long-term trend, which is expected to continue.
After a two-year decline in the North American PCB market, 3.2 percent growth is expected in 2013. The long-term trend in rigid PCB market growth has been fairly flat, with small positive and negative changes in annual growth. The exceptions were in 2009 and 2010 when growth trends mirrored the economic downturn and recovery. The flexible circuit market in North America has seen the sharpest declines in recent years, as fast-growing consumer product manufacturing in Asia, especially of products such as mobile phones, personal computers and cameras, shifted the flexible circuit market to Asia. A return to modest growth is predicted in 2013 for both rigid PCBs and flexible circuit sales in North America.
Following an eight-month downward trend, the North American book-to-bill ratio for all PCBs turned the corner in December 2012 and turned positive (above 1.00) in January 2013. The upward trend has been consistently strong, reaching 1.08 in March. The high ratio is a predictor of sales growth in the next several months.
IPC bases the information for its North American PCB Market Report on data from IPC's monthly North American PCB statistical program. The companies that participate in the program make up a representative sample of the industry, with annual revenues totaling $1.75 billion and representing 45 percent of the North American market. Data from the participating companies shows that the percentage of domestic (i.e., North American) production of PCBs has not changed over the past year, remaining between 80 and 85 percent. The report also includes data from other sources, as well as IPC's own market size estimates and one-year sales forecasts. The monthly report has complete charts and data in percentages and dollar amounts for PCB industry production, market, and forecasts for all PCBs, rigid PCBs, and flexible circuits. IPC's 102-page report also includes monthly business performance data for all PCBs, rigid PCBs and flexible circuits, along with detailed data on PCB sales to the military and aerospace and medical device markets, and sales of prototypes.
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