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IPC March book-to-bill ratios increase.

BANNOCKBURN, IL -- IPC, Association Connecting Electronics Industries, reported the North American rigid PCB industry book-to-bill ratio for March 2007 moved up to 0.99 and the North American flexible circuit book-to-bill ratio jumped up to 1.18. The combined (rigid and flex) industry book-to-bill ratio in March 2007 reflected these gains, increasing to 1.00.

The ratios are based on monthly data collected from PCB producers that participate in IPC's monthly PCB Statistical Program. They are calculated by dividing the value of orders booked over the past three months by the value of sales billed during the same period from the companies in IPC's survey sample. A ratio of more than 1.00 suggests that current demand is ahead of supply, which indicates probable near-term growth.

Rigid PCB shipments are down 12.6% and bookings are down 23.7% in March 2007 from March 2006. Year to date, rigid PCB shipments are down 9% and bookings are down 20.8%. Compared to the previous month, rigid PCB shipments increased 9.3% and rigid bookings increased 6.4%.

Flexible circuit shipments in March 2007 were down 1.6% and bookings were up 41.7% compared to March 2006. Year to date, flexible circuit shipments are up 4.2% and bookings are up 21.4%. Compared to the previous month, flexible circuit shipments increased 25.8% and flex bookings were up 111.4%.

For rigid PCBs and flexible circuits combined, industry shipments in March 2007 decreased 11.9% from March 2006, and orders booked decreased 19.9% from March 2006. Year to date, combined industry shipments are down 8.2% and bookings are down 18.7%. Compared to the previous month, combined industry shipments for March 2007 are up 10.3% and bookings are up 12.3%.

"Rigid PCB sales continued to grow in March, despite lower sales compared to last year," said IPC President Denny McGuirk. "In flexible circuits, the continued decline in sales reflects a normal seasonal pattern. The book-to-bill ratio for all PCBs has once again reached parity after declining in late 2006. This reflects overall stability despite slower growth in the first quarter of 2007."

The book-to-bill ratios and growth rates for rigid PCBs and flexible circuits combined are heavily affected by the rigid PCB segment. Rigid PCBs represent an estimated 85% of the current PCB market in North America, according to IPC's World PCB Production and Laminate Market Report for the Year 2005.
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Title Annotation:AROUND THE WORLD
Author:Heffner, Tracy
Publication:Printed Circuit Design & Manufacture
Date:Jun 1, 2007
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