October 2015

North American Electronics Business Growth Holding Steady

The three-month rolling averages of North America printed circuit board (PCB) sales continued to strengthen in August 2015, while electronics manufacturing services (EMS) sales and other indicators remained steady.

U.S. new orders for electronic products, which tend to lead sales by one to two months, decreased slightly in August but remains higher than in the same period last year. Another leading indicator is IPC's PCB book-to-bill ratio, which normally leads PCB sales by three to six months. This ratio has been in positive territory for the past 11 months and increased in August to 1.13, its highest level in more than five years. Ratios above parity (1.00) indicate greater demand than supply, which may be a precursor of strengthening sales growth for electronics manufacturers.

All data cited in this report are based on rolling averages of the past three months, which irons out some of the volatility in monthly data to show clearer trends.

Current Industry Trends

Note on the graph:  All indices are based on the same baseline of the average month in 2000=100, and reflect a three-month rolling average.

Sources: IPC statistical programs for the EMS and PCB industries; SIA for semiconductor data; U.S. Census Bureau for U.S. new orders for computer and electronic products.

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Market Research Reports

World Market Size Estimates

  Billions of U.S. Dollars For Year Source
Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) $60.2  2014 IPC, World PCB Production Report for the Year 2014
Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) $436.0 2014 New Venture Research, The Worldwide EMS Market, 2015 edition
Electronic Equipment (Final Assembly) $2,049 2014 Custer Consulting Group and Electronic Outlook Corp.

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