IPC Releases IMS/PCB Book-to-Bill Ratio and IMS/PCB Business Report for November 2003

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Northbrook, Ill. — IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries announces the findings from its monthly Interconnect Manufacturing Services (IMS)/Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program.

The North American IMS/PCB Industry Book-to-Bill Ratio for November 2003 was 1.13. The ratio is calculated by averaging the index numbers for orders booked over the past three months and dividing by the average index numbers for sales billed during the same period. A ratio of more than 1.00 suggests that current demand is ahead of supply, which indicates probable near-term growth.

Industry sales billed (shipments) in November 2003 increased 6 percent from November 2002, and orders booked increased 19.7 percent from November 2002.

Compared to 2002, shipments of PCBs are down 18.5 percent year-to-date, while bookings of PCBs are down 7.6 percent year-to-date.

The IMS/PCB Business Report, an IPC statistical report that tracks the dynamics of the U.S. IMS industry, reported the IMS/PCB shipment index was 129.9 and the IMS/PCB booking index was 141.4 for November 2003.

The IPC IMS/PCB shipment index in November 2003 increased 16.5 percent from 111.5 in October 2003, and the IPC IMS/PCB booking index in November 2003 increased 7.8 percent from 131.2 in October 2003.

The index shows how current PCB shipments and bookings relate to an index point. In this case, 1992 was chosen as the index point because it was a stable growth year for U.S. PCB manufacturers. A shipment index number of 117.0, for example, indicates that shipments are 17 percent higher than average shipments for the same time period in 1992.

The indices are calculated by setting the base year (1992) equal to 100 and then multiplying the monthly growth rates of the actual shipments and bookings by the corresponding index number.

Percentages based on the index numbers reflect changes in the size of the industry. Data reported by current participants in IPC's monthly survey, however, tell a different story. These participating companies report that their shipments increased 22.4 percent in November 2003 over November 2002, and that their orders booked increased 34.5 percent in November, year-over-year. Year-to-date, current survey participants report shipments have decreased 0.2 percent and bookings have increased 10.2 percent over the same period in 2002.

Together, these figures show a North American PCB industry that has contracted, but the companies that remain in the industry are doing better than last year.

The information in IPC's monthly industry statistics is based on data provided by both rigid and flexible PCB manufacturers that participate in IPC's monthly IMS Statistical Program. These companies represent approximately 60 percent of the U.S. IMS industry. IPC publishes the IMS Book-to-Bill Ratio and the IMS Business Report each month. (Statistics for the previous month are not available until the last week of the following month.)

IPC is a 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. For more information, visit www.ipc.org.



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