North American PCB Industry Sales Down 2.5 Percent in August

October 1, 2020 — IPC announced today the August 2020 findings from its North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program. The book-to-bill ratio stands at 0.94.

Total North American PCB shipments in August 2020 were down 2.5 percent compared to the same month last year. Compared to the preceding month, August shipments fell 1.0 percent.

PCB bookings in August fell 24.9 percent year-over-year and declined 1.6 percent from the previous month.

“The North American PCB industry saw historic growth in the early months of the pandemic with supply from China constrained and many manufacturers bidding for alternative capacity. Over the last two months however, order flow has slowed precipitously as the economic recovery moderates and downstream industries become more cautious in the face of mounting uncertainty,” said Shawn DuBravac, IPC’s chief economist. “August saw the lowest orders since July 2016. The supply chain remains healthy, but slowing downstream demand is weighing on the PCB industry and is likely to remain a headwind in the coming months.”


Note: The December 2019 ratios have been revised since their original publication due to updated data from statistical program participants.


Note: October and December 2019 growth rates have been revised since their original publication due to updated datafrom statistical program participants.

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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.

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 by the end of each month.




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