BANNOCKBURN, IL — The 90-day moving average orders at North American printed circuit board fabricators slowed in May but remained ahead of last year’s level.

Total North American PCB shipments in May were up 4.4% from last year. Shipments were down 3.1% sequentially.

PCB bookings in May increased a 0.1% year-over-year, while orders slipped 5.6% from the previous month.

Year-to-date shipments are up 5.3% and bookings are 4% higher.

The book-to-bill ratio declined 10 basis points but remained positive at 1.01. 

The book-to-bill ratio is calculated by dividing the value of orders booked over the past three months by the value of sales billed during the same period from companies in IPC’s survey sample. A ratio of more than 1.0 suggests that current demand is ahead of supply, which is a positive indicator for sales growth over the next three to six months.

It was the sixth straight month the ratio was above the benchmark 1.0 level.

"Business growth in the North American PCB industry remained positive, but growth rates have slowed,” said Sharon Starr, IPC’s director of market research. “Shipments exceeded bookings in May for the first time in six months, which pushed the book-to-bill ratio down another notch, nearly to parity” she added.

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