BANNOCKBURN, IL – North American printed circuit board sales remained sluggish in September, while orders strengthened, says IPC.
Total North American PCB orders in September increased 10.6% year-over-year. Year-to-date orders were down 4.2% compared to the comparable period last year. Orders jumped 17% sequentially.
PCB shipments decreased 2.8% year-over-year. Year-to-date shipments were down 1.2%, compared to the same period in 2013. Sequentially, PCB shipments were up 10.1%.
The North American PCB book-to-bill ratio declined to 0.99 in September. 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 six months.
“The North American PCB industry’s solid sales and order growth over the previous month reflects normal seasonal patterns,” said Sharon Starr, IPC’s director of market research. “Despite strong order growth in September, orders continued to lag shipments by a small margin, pushing the PCB book-to-bill ratio just below parity. The trend indicates a likelihood of flat sales growth through the remainder of 2014,” she added, “but a continuation of strong order growth in the last quarter could pull PCB shipments out of the current doldrums.”