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Board Book-to-Bill Ratio Stays Flat at 0.96

The book-to-bill ratio for printed circuit boards in December 2010 was 0.96, the same as November 2010, according to the Association of Connecting Electronics Industries (IPC). That means for every $100 worth of boards manufacturers shipped, they received $96 in new orders.

"December was a good month for the North American PCB industry with sales growth rates in the double digits," says IPC President & CEO, Denny McGuirk. He noted orders slowed in the rigid PCB sector, but flexible circuit orders and sales increased.

For rigid PCBs and flexible circuits combined, industry shipments in December 2010 increased 13.3 percent from December 2009. New orders booked increased 2.9 percent from December 2009. For the year, combined industry shipments were up 17.7 percent and bookings were up 21 percent. Compared to the previous month, combined industry shipments for December 2010 increased 14.1 percent and bookings increased 16.7 percent.

Rigid PCB shipments were up 10.6 percent and bookings decreased 0.8 percent in December 2010 from December 2009. Compared to the previous month, rigid PCB shipments increased 14.1 percent and rigid bookings increased 15.5 percent. The book-to-bill ratio for the North American rigid PCB industry in December 2010 remained at 0.96.

Flexible circuit shipments in December 2010 were up 50.9 percent and bookings grew 65.3 percent compared to December 2009. Compared to the previous month, flexible circuit shipments increased 13.3 percent and flex bookings increased 30.9 percent. The North American flexible circuit book-to-bill ratio in December 2010 climbed back to 0.97.

"The industry ended the year with sales up 17.7 percent over 2009," according to McGuirk.