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North American Electronics Business Growth and Leading Indicators Mixed in September

Based on three-month rolling averages, printed circuit board (PCB) growth continued to downshift in September 2016, while the electronics manufacturing services (EMS) industry in North America maintained solid positive growth. Semiconductor shipments continued to recover, although year-on-year sales growth is still in negative territory, based on the three-month rolling average. The turnaround for semiconductor sales began in April 2016 after a steep decline that spanned 12 months.

Leading indicators sent mixed signals in September 2016. The U.S. Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which tends to lead industry sales by two to six months, returned to positive territory (above 50). The 3/12 rate of change for U.S. new orders for electronic products has been in negative territory for the past eight months, which is largely a reflection of strong growth last year.

Another leading indicator, IPC’s PCB book-to-bill ratio, is based on three-month rolling averages of orders and sales, and normally leads PCB sales by three to six months. The ratio rebounded in August 2016 and increased to 1.03 in September, driven mainly by growing orders. Ratios above parity (1.00) indicate greater demand than supply, which may be a precursor of positive sales growth for electronics manufacturers. This indicator suggests the likelihood of a slow autumn with a possible year-end recovery for the industry.

Electronic Products Market Trends
Notes: As of the June 2016 release, 3/12 rates of change based on actual dollar amounts replaced the use of indices in the graph. Three-month rolling averages iron out some of the volatility in monthly data to show clearer trends. This information is provided by IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries®.
Sources: IPC statistical programs for the EMS and PCB industries; SIA for semiconductor data; U.S. Census Bureau for U.S. new orders for computer and electronic products; and Institute for Supply Management for the U.S. Purchasing Managers’ Index.


Lead-Free Trends

Lead-Free Trends
Source: IPC Global Solder Statistical Program


World Market Size Estimates

Billions of U.S. DollarsFor YearSource
Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs)$58.62015IPC, World PCB Production Report for the Year 2015
Electronic Equipment (Including Components)$1,7242015Reed Electronics Research Reports

Note: Changes in currency exchange rates affect these dollar amounts from year to year.

Learn more about Electronic Contract Manufacturing Services market and publications that provide informed perspective and relevant analysis of emergent technologies.

Worldwide Electronics Manufacturing Services Market Analysis, 2016–2021

This IDC Presentation provides electronics manufacturing services (EMS) industry forecast from 2016 through 2021. It includes forecasts for the EMS and original design manufacturing (ODM) sectors, product segments, and regions. This Presentation also reviews the state of the industry and our core forecast scenario and assumptions. This forecast reflects historical data through CY 2Q16 and forecast estimates from 2016 through 2021.

The Presentation includes:

  • Notes and definitions for the EMS market forecast
  • Situation overview: The EMS industry meets an economic meltdown
  • Future outlook, EMS market forecast, and economic assumptions
  • Worldwide EMS market forecast
  • EMS market forecast by product segments
  • EMS market forecast by geography
  • EMS total available market analysis
  • Market context: Comparison of current and previous forecasts
  • Essential guidance for EMS/ODMs