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North American PCB Orders Strengthened in September IPC Releases PCB Industry Results for September 2014

Oct 29, 2014

IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries® announced today the September findings from its monthly North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program. Sales remained sluggish while orders strengthened.

Slump in Sales and Orders is Typical for September

Total North American PCB shipments decreased 2.8 percent in September 2014 from September 2013, reducing year-to-date shipment growth to -1.2 percent. Compared to the previous month, PCB shipments were up 10.1 percent. 

PCB bookings increased by 10.6 percent compared to September 2013, improving the year-to-date order growth rate to -4.2 percent. Order growth jumped 17.0 percent in September compared to the previous month.

The North American PCB book-to-bill ratio declined to 0.99 in September.

The North American PCB industry’s solid sales and order growth over the previous month reflects normal seasonal patterns,” said Sharon Starr, IPC’s director of market research. “Despite strong order growth in September, orders continued to lag shipments by a small margin, pushing the PCB book-to-bill ratio just below parity. The trend indicates a likelihood of flat sales growth through the remainder of 2014,” she added, “but a continuation of strong order growth in the last quarter could pull PCB shipments out of the current doldrums.”

Detailed Data Available

The next edition of IPC’s North American PCB Market Report, containing detailed September data from IPC’s PCB Statistical Program, will be available in the next 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 www.ipc.org/market-research-reports.

Interpreting the Data

The book-to-bill ratios are 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 1.00 suggests that current demand is ahead of supply, which is a positive indicator for sales growth over the next three to six months. A ratio of less than 1.00 indicates the reverse.
Year-on-year and year-to-date growth rates provide the most meaningful view of industry growth. Month-to-month comparisons should be made with caution as they reflect seasonal effects and short-term volatility. Because bookings tend to be more volatile than shipments, changes in the book-to-bill ratios from month to month might not be significant unless a trend of more than three consecutive months is apparent. It is also important to consider changes in both bookings and shipments to understand what is driving changes in the book-to-bill ratio.

IPC’s monthly PCB industry statistics are based on data provided by a representative sample of both rigid PCB and flexible circuit manufacturers selling in the USA and Canada. IPC publishes the PCB book-to-bill ratio at the end of each month. Statistics for the current month are available in the last week of the following month.


IPC (www.IPC.org) is a global industry association based in Bannockburn, Ill., dedicated to the competitive excellence and financial success of its 3,500 member companies which represent all facets of the electronics industry, including design, printed board manufacturing, electronics assembly and test. As a member-driven organization and leading source for industry standards, training, market research and public policy advocacy, IPC supports programs to meet the needs of an estimated $2 trillion global electronics industry. IPC maintains additional offices in Taos, N.M.; Washington, D.C.; Stockholm, Sweden; Moscow, Russia; Bangalore and New Delhi, India; Bangkok, Thailand; and Qingdao, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Suzhou and Beijing, China.
Editors:  See attached graphs in PDF.

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