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North American PCB Industry Growth Continues and Outlook is Positive

Nov 27, 2019

IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries® announced today the October 2019 findings from its North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program. Sales and orders in October continued to outpace last year. The book-to-bill ratio rose to 1.11.

Total North American PCB shipments in October 2019 were up 6.2 percent compared to the same month last year. Year-to-date sales growth as of October is 6.9 percent ahead of the same period last year. Compared to the preceding month, October shipments decreased 8.9 percent.

PCB bookings in October increased 2.2 percent year-over-year. Year-to-date order growth is up to 2.9 percent. Bookings in October increased 9.6 percent from the previous month.

 “Business for the North American PCB industry continues to outpace last year’s performance,” said Sharon Starr, IPC’s director of market research. “The spike in the book-to-bill ratio to a 19-month high reflects the last three months’ recovery in bookings. These results lay the groundwork for continued sales growth in the next two quarters.”

Detailed Data Available

Companies that participate in IPC’s North American PCB Statistical Program have access to detailed findings on rigid PCB and flexible circuit sales and orders, including separate rigid and flex book-to-bill ratios, growth trends by product types and company size tiers, demand for prototypes, sales growth to military and medical markets, and other timely data. PCB companies that are IPC members doing business in North America are invited to contact marketresearch@ipc.org for information about participating in 2020.

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 twelve 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 normally 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 5,700-member company sites 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.; Atlanta, Ga.; Stockholm, Sweden; Brussels, Belgium; Moscow, Russia; Bangalore and New Delhi, India; Bangkok, Thailand; and Qingdao, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Suzhou and Beijing, China.

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