IPC – international association for the electronics industry join ® released today “in May 2018 in North America, PCB industry survey report. The report showed north American PCB orders and shipments grew at a strong pace in May. Order shipment ratio was further enhanced to 1.09.

Total PCB shipments in North America in May 2018, up 11.7% from the same period last year; Year-to-date shipments were up 10.0% from a year earlier. Shipments rose 1.9 percent in May compared with the previous month.

PCB orders in May 2018, up 21.2 percent compared to the same period last year; Orders so far this year were 14.4% higher than last year. Orders in May were up 6.3% compared with last month.

Ms Sharon Starr, director of market research at IPC, said: “the PCB industry in North America resumed growth in May, with sales growth in the positive range for nine consecutive months and the fastest pace in seven years. Orders have been strong for the past 12 months, and the ratio of orders to shipments has stayed above balance for 16 consecutive months. That’s a positive sign for the industry this year.

The order shipment ratio is the ratio obtained by dividing the order quantity of the sample companies involved in the IPC research project by the sales volume of the same period in the past three months. The ratio is above 1.00, indicating that current demand exceeds supply, indicating that sales will grow in the next three to 12 months. If the ratio is less than 1.00, the current supply is greater than the demand.

The year-on-year growth rate and the year-to-date growth rate are of guiding significance for exploring the development trend of the industry. The month-on-month data should be treated with caution due to its impact on cyclical and short-term fluctuations. The order data is more volatile than the shipment data, and the change in the order shipment ratio between month to month is less important, unless there is a significant trend of change for more than three consecutive months. It is equally important to explore the reasons for changes in orders and shipments as to understand the changes in the order shipment ratio.

IPC’s monthly PCB industry statistics come from local data regularly provided by representative sample enterprises of rigid and flexible PCB manufacturers in the United States and Canada. IPC will issue monthly PCB order shipment ratio and PCB statistical project report. The monthly report will be released in the last week of next month.