IPC – Association Connecting Electronics Industries®has released the spring 2009 edition of its quarterly business report,Supply Chain Tracker, which shows not just continuing economic contraction but the first signs of recovery in the electronics industry.

IPC’s global statistical programs for several key industry segments all show worsening year-on-year growth rates in first quarter 2009,after growth rates turned negative in late 2008. IPC’s North American Electronics Industry Performance Index, a new addition toSupply Chain Trackerthat monitors the performance of the North American electronics supply chain,  fell 29 percent, marking the third straight quarter it has declined.

Some leading indicators, however, are beginning to show improvement. The April 2009 book-to-bill ratio for the North American printed circuit board (PCB) industry climbed for the third straight month from 0.89 to 0.97. This ratio still indicates lagging demand, but it is trending toward 1.0, the point of parity between bookings and shipments. The North American EMS book-to-bill ratio inched up to 0.95 at the end of first quarter. Semiconductor sales, while still in negative territory, improved in first quarter 2009.

Supply Chain Trackercontains the latest findings from IPC’s statistical programs for industries across the electronic interconnect supply chain. It includes macroeconomic data, leading indicators and analysis of industry trends. Together they provide a complete picture of the industry and the supply chain dynamics that affect businesses. The quarterly business report is available by subscription and as a free benefit of membership to IPC member companies.

For more information, visitwww.IPC.org.