North American Electronics Sales Growth Flat but Outlook is Positive

As of November 2014, sales growth was flat in the bare printed circuit board (PCB) and electronics manufacturing services (EMS) segments of the electronics industry, in sharp contrast to semiconductor sales that continued to skyrocket. U.S. new orders for electronics products, which tend to lead sales by about one month, continued to sag.

IPC’s PCB book-to-bill ratio, which normally leads PCB sales by three to six months, climbed further to 1.06 in November after hovering around 1.00 during most of 2014. Ratios above parity (1.00) indicate greater demand than supply, which may be a precursor of strengthening sales growth in the PCB industry in 2015.

All data cited in this report are based on rolling averages of the past three months, which smooths out some of the volatility in monthly data to show clearer trends.

Electronics Sales Growth

Electronics Sales Growth

Note on the graph:  All indices are based on the same baseline of the average month in 2000=100, and reflect a three-month rolling average.

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.

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