June 2015

North American Electronics Growth Rates are Mixed but Outlook is Positive

The three-month rolling averages of North America electronics industry data shown in the graph below offered mixed signals in April 2015. Sales growth for printed circuit boards (PCBs) and electronics manufacturing services (EMS) was up slightly, but semiconductor sales continued its downward trend. U.S. new orders for electronics products dipped in April after a sharp rise in March, but landed above the levels seen over the preceding six months. U.S. new orders for electronic products tend to lead sales by one to two months.

IPC's PCB book-to-bill ratio, which normally leads PCB sales by three to six months, has been in positive territory for the past seven months and declined to 1.02 in April. Ratios above parity indicate greater demand than supply, which may be a precursor of strengthening sales growth in the PCB industry in 2015.

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) $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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