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Slower-than-Expected Growth Reduces PCB Book-to-Bill Ratio

BANNOCKBURN, IL — IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries® announced today the September findings from its monthly North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program. Sales and order growth remained slow in September and the book-to-bill ratio slipped below parity to 0.98.

Sluggish Growth Persists
Total North American PCB shipments decreased 0.7 percent in September 2013 from September 2012  Year-to-date shipment growth is still negative compared to the same period in 2012, but is improving and reached -3.5 percent in September. 

North American PCB bookings increased 3.1 percent year over year, an improvement that brought year-to-date growth to -0.6 percent.  Year-to-date PCB bookings have been generally flat during the second and third quarters of 2013.

Month-to-month growth in PCB shipments and bookings was positive in September, reflecting normal seasonal patterns.  Compared to the previous month, PCB shipments in September were up 9.7 percent and bookings were up 6.5 percent.

          North American PCB book-to-bill ratios had a strong run of positive results in the first seven months of 2013, driven by solid order growth.  Orders weakened during the summer months, which put downward pressure on the book-to-bill ratio.

“A combination of slower order growth and shipments that exceeded bookings in August and September brought the book-to-bill ratio below parity to 0.98,” said IPC’s director of market research Sharon Starr.  “Although year-on-year shipment growth in the North American PCB industry is still negative, it has been moving in the right direction.  The recovery we expected to see in late 2013 has been dampened by the industry’s expectation of slower economic growth in the fourth quarter due to the government shutdown.”

Detailed Data Available
The October edition of IPC’s North American PCB Market Report, containing detailed September data from IPC’s PCB Statistical Program, was published last week. The monthly report presents detailed findings on rigid PCB and flexible circuit sales and orders, including separate rigid and flex book-to-bill ratios, military and medical market growth, demand for prototypes, and other timely data. This report is available free to current participants in IPC’s PCB Statistical Program and by subscription to others. More information about this report can be found at


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