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© franz pfluegl dreamstime.com PCB | November 15, 2013

IPC: Slower-than-expected growth

Sales and order growth for the North American PCB industry remained slow in September and the book-to-bill ratio slipped below parity to 0.98, reports the IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries
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.”

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