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IPC report sees breaks in economic cloud

IPC (industry association for printed circuit board and electronics manufacturing service companies) has released their spring 2009 edition of its quarterly business report, Supply Chain Tracker, this week.


<divAlthough it showed continuing economic contraction, it also indicated the first signs of recovery in the electronics industry.

IPC’s global statistical programs for several key industry segments all show worsening year-on-year growth rates in first quarter 2009, after growth rates turned negative in late 2008. IPC’s North American Electronics Industry Performance Index fell 29 percent. This is the third straight quarter the index has declined. This index, a new addition to Supply Chain Tracker, monitors the performance of the North American electronics supply chain.

Some leading indicators, however, are beginning to show improvement. The April 2009 book-to-bill ratio for the North American printed circuit board (PCB) industry climbed for the third straight month from 0.89 to 0.97. This ratio still indicates lagging demand, but it is trending toward 1.0, the point of parity between bookings and shipments. The North American EMS book-to-bill ratio inched up to 0.95 at the end of first quarter. Semiconductor sales, while still in negative territory, improved in first quarter 2009.
          
For more information on Supply Chain Tracker and other IPC statistical programs visit: www.ipc.org.