April 2016

North American Electronics Business Growth Slowdown Continues

The three-month rolling average of North American semiconductor sales continued its sharp decline while electronics manufacturing services (EMS) sales declined slightly in February 2016, as did U.S. new orders for electronic equipment. North American sales of printed circuit boards (PCBs) inched up slightly in February 2016 after a slowdown in the fourth quarter of 2015.

U.S. new orders for electronic products tend to lead sales by one to two months. Another leading indicator is IPC’s PCB book-to-bill ratio, which normally leads PCB sales by three to six months. Ratios were positive in the first 10 months of 2015, but slumped in the fourth quarter. The ratio has returned to positive territory in 2016, standing at 1.02 as of February. Ratios above parity (1.00) indicate greater demand than supply, which may be a precursor of strengthening sales 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.

Download the graph as a PDF

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.

Lead-Free Trends

Source: IPC Global Solder Statistical Program

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Industry

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