A new forecast from IPC has just come out for the balance of 2012 and for 2013 called2012-2013 Analysis and Forecast for the PCB Industry in North America. Considering we had a difficult decline the industry in 2012 (but not PCB Solutions), the report talks about potential growth going forward…this is good news to all of us. The report takes into account historical data and trends and has the guts to forecast and project growth through 2016. It projects trends and growth in the USA and worldwide through 2016.
However, I am not sure they took into consideration that our USA economy is being held up by government money and injections of cash by the Federal Reserve – which is now broke. This method of economic stimulation leaves the manufacturing world very vulnerable because it is one of the first industries to be hit when the invisible hand in the market puts on the brakes.
The report gets rather detailed and covers U.S. exports and imports, revenues per employee, labor costs research and design spending, financial and operational metrics are also reported, like materials used trends. The most important items to a PCB Factory owner are, however, the reports covering sales by product type and production mix like prototypes versus quick turn versus high, medium and low-volume products
IPC decided to separate the rigid PCBs and flexible circuits their own segments. The data was collected collected from a representative sample of North American PCB manufacturers that represent approximately 44 percent of the North American PCB market.