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Shipments of rigid printed circuit boards (PCBs) and flexible circuits in February increased 12.9 percent and bookings increased seven percent compared to January, according to the Association Connecting Electronics Industries (IPC).
Shipments in February also increased 11.1 percent compared to February 2009, although orders decreased 4.1 percent.
The combined industry book-to-bill ratio in February 2011 slipped to 0.95 from 0.97 in January. A book-to-bill ratio of 0.95 means that for every $100 of orders that board manufacturers shipped in February, they received $95 in new orders.
"North American PCB sales continued to grow in February, despite the declining book-to-bill ratio in the rigid PCB segment," said IPC President & CEO Denny McGuirk. "In rigid PCBs, sales have been growing faster than orders for the past six months, but the opposite is happening in the flexible circuit segment."
The book-to-bill ratio for rigid printed circuit boards and flexible circuits was 0.95 in February compared to 0.97 in January.Compared to January, flexible circuit shipments in February increased 9.3 percent and flexible bookings increased 12.6 percent. The flexible circuit book-to-bill ratio in February 2011 jumped to 1.10 from 1.01 in January.
Rigid printed circuit board shipments in February increased 13.2 percent and bookings increased 6.4 percent from January. The book-to-bill ratio for rigid board shipments dipped to 0.94 in February compared to 0.97 in January.
McGuirk said sales in both segments are strong and showing normal seasonal patterns, but there will likely be stronger demand for flexible circuits in the coming months. The book-to-bill ratio and growth rates for rigid PCBs and flexible circuits combined are heavily affected by the rigid PCB segment. Rigid PCBs represent an estimated 89 percent of the current PCB industry in North America.