BANNOCKBURN, IL — North American printed circuit board fabricators saw the 90-day moving average shipments rise 3% year-over-year in October, IPC announced today.

Shipments fell 12.6% sequentially, the trade group added.

Bookings in October fell 19% year-over-year and 22.8% from September's final results.

The figures include shipments and sales of rigid PCBs and flexible circuits.

The book-to-bill ratio for the month rose 40 basis points to 0.97, meaning $97 worth of boards were ordered for every $100 shipped. The 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.

It was the third straight month the ratio was below the benchmark 1.0 mark. The current ratio suggests a declining market is ahead, as shipments are ahead of orders.

“The current environment is starting to look increasingly like a normal recession and less like the initial shock. While PCB shipments were generally in line with expectations, bookings continue to fall below average,” said Shawn DuBravac, chief economist, IPC, in a press release. “There does appear to be some backlog within the system which should sustain shipments in the next month or two, but it is increasingly looking like weaker bookings, especially for flexible PCBs, will define the start of 2021.”

The data come from an IPC sample of rigid PCB and flexible circuit manufacturers selling in the US and Canada.

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