FRANKFURT – In the third quarter, German area printed circuit board manufacturers recorded a sales decline of 15% year-over-year, flat sequentially, according to ZVEI. July sales were the lowest during the period.

However, orders during the third quarter jumped 47%, after a decline of 37% in the second quarter.

The book-to-bill ratio in the third quarter was 1.14. That means that for every 100 euros of PCBs sold, 114 euros worth of boards were ordered. A ratio above 1.0 is considered a sign of a growing market.

The European business climate improved during the third quarter, as production facilities restarted post-lockdown, with the auto industry making a significant contribution.

However, it is unclear how sustainable the improvement is, says ZVEI, so PCB companies are cautiously optimistic. In many cases there are no export orders in industrial electronics.

The number of employees fell 4.7% year-over-year and 1.1% sequentially.


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