October 2014

North American Electronics Industry Showing Signs of Growth

North American electronics sales are trending upward, with semiconductors on a strong growth trajectory throughout the summer. Printed circuit board (PCB) sales have been gradually strengthening since the beginning of the year and electronics manufacturing services (EMS) plateaued in August after four months of steady growth. U.S. new orders for electronic products have been on a bumpy but generally upward trend since the beginning of 2014. U.S. new orders tend to lead sales growth by one month.

IPC's PCB book-to-bill ratio, which normally leads PCB sales by three to six months, was just above parity at 1.01 in August. It has hovered around parity for the past seven months, which indicates flat or slow growth. Ratios above parity (1.00) indicate greater demand than supply, which may be a precursor of strengthening sales growth in the PCB industry.

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.

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) $59.4    2013 IPC, World PCB Production Report for the Year 2013
Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) $436.7 2013 Electronic Trend Publications
Electronic Equipment (Final Assembly) $2,020 2013 Electronic Outlook

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