June 2017

North American Electronics Leading Indicators Remain Positive

Based on three-month rolling averages, year-on-year growth in North American semiconductor sales continued its upward climb in April 2017. Year-on-year growth in sales by electronics manufacturing services (EMS) companies in the region decreased but remained strong. Growth in printed circuit board (PCB) sales rebounded in April.

The U.S. Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which tends to lead industry sales by two to six months, weakened but remains in positive territory (above 50). The 3/12 rate of change for U.S. new orders for electronic products also softened but remained positive. It should be noted that the U.S. Department of Commerce revised its historical data on U.S. new orders and issued new data on May 18, 2017. The graph below reflects the revised data. It shows that U.S. new orders have been positive for the past twenty months.

Another leading indicator, IPC’s PCB book-to-bill ratio, is based on three-month rolling averages of orders and sales, and normally leads industry sales by three to nine months. The ratio has strengthened every month in 2017 and stands at a solid 1.09 as of April. Ratios above parity (1.00) indicate greater demand than supply, which may be a precursor of sales growth for electronics manufacturers. These indicators suggest the likelihood of sales growth in the industry this year, but with some volatility.


View Graph as a PDF

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®. Other industry data can be found at www.ipc.org.

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.

Market Research Reports

World Market Size Estimates

  Billions of U.S. Dollars For Year Source
Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) $58.2 2016* IPC, World PCB Production Report for the Year 2016*
Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) $446.3 2016 New Venture Research
Electronic Equipment (Including Components) $1,728 2016 Reed Electronics Research

*The PCB estimate for 2016 is preliminary and will be updated when the World PCB Production Report for the Year 2016 is published later this year.

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

Lead-Free Trends

Source: IPC Global Solder Statistical Program and Global Solder Market Report

Find more information and data from other industry associations

Industry

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