June 2016

North American PCB and EMS Business Strengthened as of April

Printed circuit board (PCB) and electronics manufacturing services (EMS) shipments in North American continued to grow in April 2016, based on three-month rolling averages. The three-month rolling average of semiconductor shipments finally ended its steep decline and appears to be turning upward. The two leading indicators, U.S. Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) and U.S. new orders for computer and electronic products, declined but remained in positive territory.

The PMI typically leads sales by three to six months and 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. The ratio has been positive throughout the first four months of 2016 and it currently stands at 1.02 as of April. Ratios above parity (1.00) indicate greater demand than supply, which may be a precursor of strengthening sales for electronics manufacturers. These indicators all point to slowing growth in electronics industry sales in the coming months.

As of this month, the data in this graph were re-tabulated with 3/12 rates of change based on actual dollar amounts instead of indices. Rolling averages of the past three months 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

Find more information and data from other industry associations


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