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Combined shipments of rigid printed circuit boards (PCBs) and flexible circuits increased three percent in April, but new orders dropped 5.6 percent compared to April 2010, according to the Association Connecting Electronics Industries (IPC).
Year to date, combined shipments of PCBs and flexible circuits for April decreased 13.9 percent and bookings decreased 11.5 percent. The combined (rigid and flexible) industry book-to-bill ratio in April 2011 inched up to 0.96, up slightly from 0.95 in March.
The book-to-bill ratio for printed circuit boards moved from 0.95 in March to 0.96 in April.A book-to-bill ratio of 0.96 means board manufacturers received $96 of new orders for every $100 of orders they shipped.
Rigid PCB shipments were up 0.8 percent and bookings decreased 6.6 percent in April 2011 from April 2010. Flexible circuit shipments were up 30.3 percent and bookings increased 7.2 percent compared to April 2010.
Demand for printed circuit boards is following normal seasonal patterns and seems to have returned to normal as the book book-to-bill ratio is holding steady at just under parity, according to Denny McGuirk, IPC president and CEO. "This suggests the slowdown in sales growth is likely to continue into the third quarter of this year."