September 2015

North American Electronics Business Showing Signs of Growth

The three-month rolling averages of North America printed circuit board (PCB) and semiconductor sales continued to strengthen in July 2015. Electronics manufacturing services (EMS) sales, which tend to lag PCB sales by about two months, remained flat.

Leading indicators for future sales growth are positive. U.S. new orders for electronic products, which tend to lead sales by one to two months, continued to climb in July. Another leading indicator is IPC's PCB book-to-bill ratio, which normally leads PCB sales by three to six months. This ratio has been in positive territory for the past 10 months and increased to 1.09 in July. Ratios above parity (1.00) indicate greater demand than supply, which may be a precursor of strengthening sales growth 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.

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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.

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