BANNOCKBURN, IL — North American printed circuit board orders in August increased 17.2% year-over-year, driving year-to-date order growth up 4%. Orders in August were up 3.6% sequentially.
North American PCB shipments for the month were down 0.6% compared to the same month last year. Year to date, shipments are 4% below the same period in 2016. Sequentially, August shipments increased 3.1%.
Strong year-over-year growth in orders drove the book-to-bill ratio up to 1.15 in August. A ratio of more than one suggests current demand is ahead of supply, which is a positive indicator for sales growth over the next three to twelve months.
“Strong growth in North American PCB orders in recent months, combined with negative growth in sales, drove the book-to-bill ratio in August to a 12-year high of 1.15,” said Sharon Starr, IPC’s director of market research. “Unusually fast growth in flexible circuit orders and growing demand from the military and aerospace market are two of the drivers. The ratio has been above parity for seven consecutive months, indicating a possible recovery in sales by the end of this year.”