-REVISED 3/18/05-
IPC Releases IMS/PCB Book-to-Bill Ratio and
IMS/PCB Business Report for January 2005

Bannockburn, Ill., (REVISED) March 18, 2005 -- IPC—Association Connecting Electronics Industries® announced today the findings from its monthly Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program.

IMS/PCB Book-to-Bill Ratio
The North American PCB Industry Book-to-Bill Ratio for January 2005 climbed to 1.08. This ratio is based on monthly data collected from both rigid PCB and flexible circuit producers that participate in IPC’s monthly PCB Statistical Program. Separately, the book-to-bill ratios in January 2005 were 1.00 for rigid PCBs and 1.36 for flexible circuits.

The ratios are calculated by dividing the value of orders booked over the past three months by the value of sales billed during the same period from the companies in IPC’s survey sample. A ratio of more than 1.00 suggests that current demand is ahead of supply, which indicates probable near-term growth.

Rigid PCB Growth
(REVISED 3/18/05) Rigid PCB shipments are down 0.3 percent and bookings are down 1.5 percent in January 2005 from January 2004. Rigid PCB shipments from the survey sample decreased 7.0 percent from the previous month and rigid bookings increased 4.7 percent from the previous month.

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Flexible Circuit Growth
(REVISED 3/18/05) Flexible circuit shipments are up 46.9 percent and bookings are up 172.1 percent in January 2005 from January 2004. Compared to the previous month, flexible circuit shipments from the survey sample decreased 1.9 percent and flex bookings decreased 29.5 percent.

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Total Industry Growth
(REVISED 3/18/05) For rigid PCBs and flexible circuits combined, industry sales billed (shipments) in January 2005 increased 8.2 percent from January 2004, and orders booked increased 21.8 percent from January 2004. Combined industry shipments for January 2005 are down 7.0 percent over the previous month, and bookings are down 8.6 percent over the previous month.

The book-to-bill ratios and growth rates for rigid PCBs and flexible circuits combined are heavily affected by the rigid PCB segment, which represents more than 75% of the current PCB market in North America. The influence of flexible circuits is growing, however, as flexible circuit shipments have shown stronger growth than rigid PCBs over the past eighteen months.

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and to view historical index data)

The Role of Domestic Production
IPC’s monthly survey of the North American PCB industry tracks bookings and shipments from US and Canadian facilities, which provide indicators of regional demand. These numbers do not measure US and Canadian PCB production. Beginning with the January 2005 survey, IPC now asks participants for the percent of their reported shipments that were produced domestically (i.e., in the USA or Canada). In January 2005, 65 percent of total PCB shipments reported were domestically produced. Domestic production accounted for 75 percent of rigid PCB and 31 percent of flexible circuit shipments in January.

Bare Circuits Versus Assembly
Flexible circuit sales typically include some value-added services, such as assembly, in addition to the bare flex circuits. In January, the flexible circuit manufacturers in IPC’s survey sample indicated that bare circuits accounted for about 30 percent of their shipment value reported for the month.

Interpreting the Data
Year-on-year and year-to-date growth rates provide the most meaningful view of industry growth. Month-to-month comparisons should be made with caution as they may reflect cyclical effects. Because bookings tend to be more volatile than shipments, changes in the book-to-bill ratios from month-to-month may not be significant unless a trend of three consecutive months or more is apparent.

The information in IPC’s monthly PCB industry statistics is based on data provided by a representative sample of both rigid and flexible PCB manufacturers in the USA and Canada. IPC publishes the PCB Book-to-Bill Ratio and the Interconnect Manufacturing Services (IMS) Business Report each month. Statistics for the previous month are not available until the last week of the following month.

For more information, contact IPC Director of Market Research Sharon Starr at SharonStarr@ipc.org or 847-597-2817.

About IPC
IPC is a Bannockburn, Ill.-based trade association dedicated to the competitive excellence and financial success of its more than 2,200 member companies, which represent all facets of the electronic interconnection industry, including design, printed circuit board manufacturing and electronics assembly. As a member-driven organization and leading source for industry standards, training, market research and public policy advocacy, IPC supports programs to meet the needs of a $40 billion U.S. industry employing more than 350,000 people. IPC maintains additional offices in Taos, N.M.; Washington, D.C.; Garden Grove, Calif.; Stockholm, Sweden; and Shanghai, China. For more information, visit www.ipc.org .