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Forecast: Flat Printed Circuit Board Shipments in 2013
Oct 9, 2013
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Total North American PCB shipments were down 1.6% in August 2013 from August 2012, while bookings were down 9.1% year over year, according to IPC -- Association Connecting Electronics Industries.

Year to date PCB industry shipments were still below the previous year's levels--down 3.9%--while bookings were down 1.0%. August 2013 PCB shipments were up 5.3% from July 2013. Bookings were down 8.1%. With August shipments exceeding bookings, the PCB book-to-bill ratio dropped to parity at 1.00.

The association forecast nearly flat sales growth for full-year 2013.

Year-on-year sales growth had been improving for a few months prior to August 2013, with solid growth in orders since the start of the year. Orders fell below 2012 levels in June and August, reducing the book-to-bill ratio, which was positive for the previous seven months.

"Just as the North American PCB industry began showing signs of renewed growth, it was hit by some negative market developments, most notably reductions in U.S. military spending," said IPC's director of market research Sharon Starr. "This was especially evident in sales of rigid flexible circuits," she explained. "Still, the long run of positive book-to-bill ratios we have just seen indicates good fundamental demand that will support sales growth later in the year."

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