North American Electronics Industry Had a Disappointing December
The growth trend experienced an unexpected set-back in December 2013 for semiconductor and PCB sales in North America, and most notably for U.S. new orders for electronic products. Severe weather in the region may have been a contributing factor. The three-month rolling average of North American electronics manufacturing services (EMS) sales continued to improve in December, although the overall trend in that industry segment has been mostly flat in recent months.
U.S. new orders for electronic products tend to lead sales by about one month, which is a negative indicator for the industry's January 2014 results. IPC's PCB book-to-bill ratio, which normally leads sales by three to six months, remains low at 0.92 but saw a slight improvement over the previous month. It reflects the fact that shipments are growing, but orders are not keeping up. Ratios below parity (1.00) indicate lower demand than supply, which may be a precursor of weakening sales growth in the PCB industry. The current ratio could indicate that the projected recovery in 2014 may get off to a slow start.
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.
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
|Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs)
||IPC, World PCB Production Report for the Year 2012
|Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS)
||Electronic Trends Publications
|Electronic Equipment (Final Assembly)
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