BANNOCKBURN, IL — Total North American printed circuit board orders in September increased 6.3% year-over-year, returning year-to-date order growth to positive territory. Sequentially, orders were down 5.3%, says IPC.
September PCB shipments were up 2.7% year-over-year. Year-to-date, shipments were up 4% through the first nine months, while orders were up 0.1%. Sequentially, shipments increased 17.8%.
Solid order growth moved the book-to-bill ratio up to 1.03. The ratio is calculated by dividing the number of orders over the previous 90 days by those of sales. A ratio of more than 1.0 suggests current demand is ahead of supply, which is a positive indicator for sales growth over the next three to six months.
“Solid year-on-year growth in orders drove September’s increase in the North American PCB industry’s book-to-bill ratio, while sales were also up in September,” said Sharon Starr, IPC’s market research director. “Sales growth rates again differed markedly for different segments of the industry, with flexible circuits driving most of the month’s sales growth.”