IPC Releases IMS/PCB Book-to-Bill Ratio

May 04, 2004

NORTHBROOK, Ill., April 30, 2004--IPC�Association Connecting Electronics Industries� announced today the findings from its monthly Interconnect Manufacturing Services (IMS)/Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program. The IPC PCB Presidents Council recently selected IMS as a better designation for the PCB industry to better reflect the services provided to customers.

IMS/PCB Book-to-Bill Ratio

The North American IMS/PCB Industry Book-to-Bill Ratio for March 2004 was 1.12. 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 March 2004 increased 41.1 percent from March 2003, and orders booked increased 47.2 percent from March 2003.

Compared to 2003, shipments of PCBs are up 32.6 percent year-to-date, while bookings of PCBs are up 42.8 percent year-to-date.

IMS/PCB Business Report

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 151.5 and the IMS/PCB booking index was 160.9 for March 2004.

The IPC IMS/PCB shipment index in March 2004 increased 15.3 percent from 131.4 in February 2004, and the IPC IMS/PCB booking index in March 2004 decreased 2.0 percent from 164.1 in February 2004.

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 another side of the story. These participating companies report that their shipments increased 32.9 percent in March 2004 over March 2003, and that their orders booked increased 37.1 percent in March, year-over-year.

Year-to-date, current survey participants report shipments have increased 30.2 percent and bookings have increased 41.1 percent over the same period in 2003.

Together, these figures show a North American PCB industry that is rebounding.

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.)

For more information, contact IPC Director of Market Research Sharon Starr at SharonStarr@ipc.org or 847-790-5317.

About IPC

IPC is a Northbrook, Ill.-based 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. As a member-driven organization and leading source for industry standards, training, market research and public policy advocacy, IPC supports programs to meet the needs of a $40 billion U.S. industry employing more than 350,000 people. IPC maintains additional offices in Taos, N.M.; Washington, D.C.; Garden Grove, Calif.; and Shanghai, China. For more information, visit http://www.ipc.org.

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