IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries® announced today the March findings from its monthly North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program. Sales were up in March and the book-to-bill ratio strengthened, returning to positive territory.
Positive Sales Growth Returns
Total North American PCB shipments increased 4.8 percent in March 2014 from March 2013, strengthening year-to-date shipment growth to -0.8 percent. Compared to the previous month, PCB shipments jumped 18.9 percent.
PCB bookings continued negative at -5.5 percent year over year. Year-to-date order growth, while still negative, improved to -6.9 percent. Order growth climbed 20.9 percent over the previous month.
The North American PCB book-to-bill ratio strengthened in March for the fourth straight month, reaching 1.01, just above parity.
"The book-to-bill ratio's climb and positive year-on-year sales growth in March are encouraging signs of a recovery ahead," said Sharon Starr, IPC's director of market research. She cautioned, however, that "the book-to-bill ratio has just reached positive territory after six consecutive months below 1.00. Economic indicators are positive for 2014, but the PCB industry's recovery is developing slowly."