The electronics manufacturing services (EMS) industry still has not shown signs of recovery, according to data from the Supply Chain Tracker, a quarterly business report produced by IPC, the Association Connecting Electronics Industries. EMS shipments seem to have hit the bottom in August 2009, but have remained flat through the end of the year.
Other sectors of the supply chain are recovering. U.S. new orders for computer and electronic products have shown very gradual improvement, with a seasonal spike in November followed by a normal decrease in December. Printed circuit board (PCB) and semiconductor shipments followed a similar seasonal pattern in November and December.
Several leading indicators support the view that the electronics industry is on the road to recovery. IPC's PCB book-to-bill ratio has been above parity (1.0) since May 2009. It stands at 1.04 as of December. The book-to-bill ratio leads sales in the PCB industry by an average of three to six months. The current trend is a very encouraging sign of expected growth in North American PCB sales in 2010.
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