PCBs follow the automotive economy Printed circuit board market collapses

The printed circuit board market in DACH is clearly weakening: according to ZVEI, the first half of the year closed ten percent lower.

At the end of the second quarter of 2019, printed circuit board manufacturers in the DACH region recorded a 10.6 percent drop in sales compared with the previous quarter. Compared to the same quarter of the previous year, 12.8 percent less was invoiced.

The largest declines in sales (- 25 to 30%) were recorded by manufacturers whose main customer is the automotive industry. Incoming orders have also fallen since the beginning of the year: compared to the previous quarter, the decline was 4.3 percent and also compared to the second quarter of 2018, there was a minus of 15.8 percent. In the last three quarters, companies in the automotive industry also adjusted some of their previous orders, as demand declined.

The trend indicator book-to-bill ratio - the quotient of incoming orders and sales - reached a value of 0.93 in the second quarter of 2019.

The number of employees remained constant compared with the previous quarter, while the number of employees fell by 0.6 percent compared with the same quarter of the previous year.

The global economy is losing momentum, trade and investment are declining. Registration figures for passenger cars are falling - partly because the continuing uncertainty about future drive types is making buyers hesitant. Overall purchasing behavior is changing because US customs duties on imports from China make products more expensive for American consumers. Overall, there is global uncertainty about the economic environment and future developments. This is increasingly reflected in the results of these statistics.

Background to the survey:
The reporting group of PCB manufacturers from German-speaking countries, which has remained unchanged since 2015, represents a sales share of around 75 percent. The group includes companies of different sizes that offer various technologies and services.