North American PCB and EMS Business Growth Continues at Slowing Pace
Printed circuit board (PCB) and electronics manufacturing services (EMS) industries in North America
continued to report positive growth in July 2016, based on three-month rolling averages. Semiconductor
shipments continued to show signs of recovery, although year-on-year sales growth remains negative, based on a three-month rolling average. The turnaround for semiconductor sales began in April 2016 after a steep decline that spanned 12 months.
Two leading indicators, the U.S. Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) and U.S. new orders for computer and electronic products, continued to send mixed signals in July. The PMI remained in positive territory, while U.S. new orders remained negative.
Another leading indicator, IPC’s PCB book-to-bill ratio, is based on three-month rolling averages of orders and sales, and normally leads PCB sales by three to six months. The ratio was positive during the first five months of 2016, but slipped into negative territory, driven by slower orders. It stands at 0.94 as of July 2016. Ratios below parity (1.00) indicate greater supply than demand, which may be a precursor of weakening sales for electronics manufacturers. These indicators point to a possible slowdown in electronics industry sales in the second half of the year.
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Notes: As of the June 2016 release, 3/12 rates of change based on actual dollar amounts replaced the use of indices in the graph. Three-month rolling averages iron out some of the volatility in monthly data to show clearer trends
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; and Institute for Supply Management for the U.S. Purchasing Managers’ Index.
Market Research Reports
World Market Size Estimates
||Billions of U.S. Dollars
|Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs)
||IPC, World PCB Production Report for the Year 2015
|Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS)
||New Venture Research
|Electronic Equipment (Including Components)
||Reed Electronics Research
Note: Changes in currency exchange rates affect these dollar amounts from year to year.
Source: IPC Global Solder Statistical Program
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