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March 2017

North American Electronics Business Indicators Climbing

Based on three-month rolling averages, growth in printed circuit board (PCB), electronics manufacturing services (EMS) and semiconductor sales in North America all continue their upward climb in January 2017. Strong sales growth was seen in the EMS and semiconductor industries. PCB sales growth has returned to positive territory.

The U.S. Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which tends to lead industry sales by two to six months, continued to rise for the fifth consecutive month and remains solidly in positive territory (above 50). The 3/12 rate of change for U.S. new orders for electronic products also strengthened. Although it remains in negative territory, it is very nearly flat.

Another leading indicator, IPC’s PCB book-to-bill ratio, is based on three-month rolling averages of orders and sales, and normally leads PCB sales by three to six months. After slipping below parity (1.00) in late 2016, due to weak orders in recent months, it remains just below parity in January 2017 at 0.99, but is improving. Ratios below parity (1.00) indicate greater supply than demand, which may be a precursor of slowing or negative sales growth for electronics manufacturers. These indicators suggest the likelihood of slow growth in early 2017 with some volatility.


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Notes: As of the June 2016 release, 3/12 rates of change based on actual dollar amounts replaced the use of indices in the graph. Three-month rolling averages iron out some of the volatility in monthly data to show clearer trends. This information is provided by IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries®. Other industry data can be found at www.ipc.org.

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) $58.2 2016* IPC, World PCB Production Report for the Year 2016*
Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) $446.3 2016 New Venture Research
Electronic Equipment (Including Components) $1,728 2016 Reed Electronics Research

*The PCB estimate for 2016 is preliminary and will be updated when the World PCB Production Report for the Year 2016 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

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