September 2016

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.

Current Industry Trends

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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 For Year Source
Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) $58.6 2015 IPC, World PCB Production Report for the Year 2015
Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) $430.1 2015 New Venture Research
Electronic Equipment (Including Components) $1,724 2015 Reed Electronics Research

Note: Changes in currency exchange rates affect these dollar amounts from year to year.

Lead-Free Trends

Source: IPC Global Solder Statistical Program

Find more information and data from other industry associations

Industry

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