June 2018

North American Electronics Business Growth Continues

North American printed circuit board (PCB), electronics manufacturing services (EMS) and semiconductor sales growth continued in April 2018. The PCB growth rate held steady, remaining at around 10 percent above the same period last year. The EMS growth rate rebounded after slowing in the first quarter of 2018. Semiconductor sales growth remains strong but continues to retreat from its fourth-quarter 2017 peak. These year-over-year growth rates are based on three-month rolling averages.

The U.S. Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which tends to lead industry sales by two to six months, decreased but remained strong in April. It has been in positive territory (above 50) for more than two years. The 3/12 rate of change for U.S. new orders for electronic products, which leads industry sales by one to three months, continues to increase and remains strong.

Another leading indicator, IPC’s PCB book-to-bill ratio, is based on three-month rolling averages of orders and sales, and normally leads industry sales by three to nine months. The ratio has been in positive territory for the past 15 consecutive months, driven mainly by growth in orders. The book-to-bill ratio continued to retreat following a 12-year high in early 2018, but remains strong at 1.08. Ratios above parity (1.00) indicate greater demand than supply, which may be a precursor of sales growth for electronics manufacturers, especially when a run of positive ratios over several months is seen. These indicators suggest the likelihood of continued sales growth in the industry in 2018.


View Graph as a PDF

Notes:

  1. This information is provided by IPC International, Inc. 
  2. Other industry data can be found at www.ipc.org.
  3. Three-month rolling averages smooth out some of the volatility in monthly data to show clearer trends.
  4. The U.S. Department of Commerce revised its historical data on U.S. new orders and issued new data on May 17, 2018. The graph above reflects the revised data.

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; and Institute for Supply Management for the U.S. Purchasing Managers’ Index.

Market Research Reports

World Market Size Estimates

  Billions of U.S. Dollars For Year Source
Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) $62.1* 2017 N.T. Information Ltd.
Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) $463.3 2017 New Venture Research
Electronic Equipment (Including Components) $1,756 2017 Reed Electronics Research

*The PCB estimate for 2017 is a forecast and will be updated when the World PCB Production Report for the Year 2017 is published later this year.

Note: Changes in currency exchange rates affect these dollar amounts from year to year.

Lead-Free Trends

Source: IPC Global Solder Statistical Program and Global Solder Market Report

Find more information and data from other industry associations

Industry

TechNetFacebookYouTubeLinkedInTwitterFlickrGoogle+IPC BlogRSS Feeds