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New Orders for Printed Circuit Boards Declined in May

The book- to-bill ratio for printed circuit boards is moving toward 1.00.
Shipments of printed circuit boards in May increased 1.1 percent, but new orders for boards declined 12.6 percent compared to May 2010, according to the Association Connecting Electronics Industries (IPC).

Compared to the previous month, shipments of rigid printed circuit boards and flexible circuits declined 0.4 percent, while new order bookings increased 1.3 percent. The book-to-bill ratio in May climbed 0.99, up from 0.96 in April, IPC reported. A book-to-bill ratio of 0.99 means that board manufacturers got $99 of new orders for every $100 of orders they shipped in the month.

"We are starting to see some improvement in the North American PCB book-to-bill ratio," said IPC President & CEO Denny McGuirk. "Although it is still just under parity and we are seeing flat growth in rigid PCB sales, the flexible circuit side of the business is showing strong sales growth."

Compared to the previous month, rigid PCB shipments increased 0.3 percent and rigid bookings decreased 0.6 percent. Rigid boards make up about 89 percent of the printed circuit board market. Flexible circuit shipments in May decreased 6.9 percent and bookings increased 22 percent compared to April.