September 2014

EMS and Semiconductor Sales Lead North American Electronics Industry Recovery

There are some bright spots in the data that indicate continuing recovery for the North American electronics industry. By the end of July the three-month rolling averages of EMS and semiconductor sales showed improvement, while PCB sales remained flat. U.S. new orders for electronic products, which tends to lead sales growth by one month, slipped slightly in July but has maintained a higher level of activity in the past five months than last year.

IPC's PCB book-to-bill ratio, which normally leads PCB sales by three to six months, remained at parity (1.00) in July and has hovered around that level for the past six months, which indicates flat or slow growth. Ratios above parity (1.00) indicate greater demand than supply, which may be a precursor of strengthening sales growth in the PCB industry.

All data cited in this report are based on rolling averages of the past three months, which smooths 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     2012 IPC, World PCB Production Report for the Year 2012
Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) $419.5 2012 Electronic Trends Publications
Electronic Equipment (Final Assembly) $2,020 2013 Electronic Outlook

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