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North American EMS Industry Down3.6 Percent in March

Apr 23, 2021

IPC announced today the March 2021 findings from its North American Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) Statistical Program.The book-to-bill ratio stands at 1.43.

Total North American EMS shipments in March 2021 were down 3.6 percent compared to the same month last year. Compared to the preceding month, March shipments rose 10.9 percent.

EMS bookings in Marchrose 8.9 percent year-over-year and decreased 8.7 percent from the previous month.

“The EMS market reported strong growth to close out 2021. Both orders and shipments showed double digit growth over January 2019,” said Shawn DuBravac, IPC’s chief economist. “For the year, bookings outpaced shipments, a trend that continued in the month of January. A small backorder in shipments should balance in the first quarter.”

Detailed Data Available

Companies that participate in IPC’s North American EMS Statistical Program have access to detailed findings on EMS sales growth by type of production and company size tier, order growth and backlogs by company sizetier, vertical market growth, the EMS book-to-bill ratio,3-month and 12-month sales outlooks, and other timely data.

Interpreting the Data

The book-to-bill ratios are calculated by dividing the value of orders booked over the past three months by the value of sales billed during the same period from companies in IPC’s survey sample. A ratio of more than 1.00 suggests that current demand is ahead of supply, which is a positive indicator for sales growth over the next three to twelve months.A ratio of less than 1.00 indicates the reverse.

Year-on-year and year-to-date growth rates provide the most meaningful view of industry growth. Month-to-month comparisons should be made with caution as they reflect seasonal effects and short-term volatility. Because bookings tend to be more volatile than shipments, changes in the book-to-bill ratios from month to month might not be significant unless a trend of more than three consecutive months is apparent. It is also important to consider changes in both bookings and shipments to understand what is driving changes in the book-to-bill ratio.

IPC’s monthly EMS industry statistics are based on data provided by a representative sample of assembly equipment manufacturers selling in the USA and Canada. IPC publishes the EMSbook-to-bill ratio bythe end of each month.


IPC (www.IPC.org) is a global industry association based in Bannockburn, Ill., dedicated to the competitive excellence and financial success of its nearly 3,000-member company sites which represent all facets of the electronics industry, including design, printed board manufacturing, electronics assembly and test. As a member-driven organization and leading source for industry standards, training, market research and public policy advocacy, IPC supports programs to meet the needs of an estimated $2 trillion global electronics industry. IPC maintains additional offices in Washington, D.C.; Atlanta, Ga.; Miami, Fla.; Brussels, Belgium; Bangalore and New Delhi, India; Bangkok, Thailand; and Qingdao, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Suzhou and Beijing, China.

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