March book-to-bill ratio stays below 1, dropping sharply
Japan-based manufacturers of semiconductor equipment saw their book-to-bill ratio drop sharply to 0.78 in March, according to the book-to-bill ratio report by the Semiconductor Equipment Association of Japan (SEAJ).
A book-to-bill ratio higher than 1 is usually considered to indicate that the market is growing as booking exceeds billing.
Japanese manufacturers' booking on a three-month moving average in March was 99.8 billion yen (US$1.25 billion*), having edged down 1.4 billion yen or 1.4% from the previous month. Billing was 125.6 billion yen, up 23.8 billion yen or 23.3% from the previous month.
* Original figures are in Japanese yen. The exchange rate is roughly US$1=80 yen.
The sharp drop of the book-to-bill ratio was caused by a jump in shipments rather than a decline in orders received. Another factor is that shipments usually surge in March, the final month of the fiscal year in Japan.
Book-to-Bill Ratio (Express Report) (English in page 2)