March Book-to-Bill Remains Steady


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BANNOCKBURN, Ill. — IPC–Association Connecting Electronics Industries' March 2006 North American rigid PCB industry book-to-bill ratio continued its positive trend at 1.14, while the flexible circuit book-to-bill ratio declined slightly to 0.94, for a combined industry book-to-bill ratio of 1.13.

Rigid PCB shipments are up 10.1%, with bookings up 15.3% compared to March 2005. Rigid PCB shipments are up 7.0% and bookings are up 16.2%, year-to-date. Compared to last month, rigid PCB shipments increased 14.6% and rigid bookings increased 10.4%.

Flexible circuit shipments are up 0.4%, while bookings are up 6.4% from March 2005. Year-to-date, flexible circuits shipments are up 7.7%, while bookings dropped 11.7%. Flexible circuit shipments increased 22.6% and flex bookings increased 77.5% compared to February 2006.

Combined, industry shipments increased 9.4% and orders booked increased 14.7% from one year ago. Year-to-date, combined industry shipments are up 7.1% and bookings are up 14.3%. Combined industry shipments are up 15.1% and bookings are up 13.1% over February's figures."Both bookings and shipments of rigid PCBs are still going strong this year," comments Denny McGuirk, IPC president. "Year-on-year sales growth in flexible circuits has been on the decline since last November, although it's still positive. March 2006 was the first month since February 2003 that year-on-year sales growth rates were higher for rigid PCBs than for flexible circuits." The rigid PCB segment affects book-to-bill ratios and growth rates for rigid PCBs and flexible circuits combined, as that segment represents more than 75% of the current North American PCB market.

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