FRANKFURT, GERMANY -- German region printed circuit board manufacturers saw sales fall 5% year-over-year in October.

The 90-day average orders plunged almost 25%, significantly below 2015's bookings, on a shorter number of working days and product shifts to Asian plants.

The data were reported by the ZVEI PCB and Electronic Systems Association, based on PCB fabricators in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Year-to-date sales are down 1.2% from 2015, said ZVEI. Accumulated over the first ten months of the year, bookings per workday remained the same as 2015.

The book-to-bill ratio fell one basis point sequentially to 0.81, its lowest mark in 25 months. A ratio of 0.81 means that for every 100 euros worth of boards shipped, 81 euros worth were ordered. A ratio below 1.0 a suggests near-term slowdown in shipments.

Fabricators in the region cut headcounts by 0.4% compared to October 2015, dropping the number of employees to the lowest level of the year.

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