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BANNOCKBURN, IL --  The 90-day moving average orders among North American PCB fabricators bookings increased 12.4% in November, IPC said today.

Shipments fell 3.4% in November, and are now down 1.2 % overall from last year. PCB shipments were down 5% sequentially, the trade group added.

For the year, orders are off 0.1% from 2013. Orders fell 25.5% sequentially, which IPC attributed to unusually strong October sales.

The book-to-bill ratio edged up to 1.06 in November, meaning $106 worth of boards were ordered for every $100 billed.

The ratio is 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 1.0 suggests that current demand is ahead of supply, which is a positive indicator for sales growth over the next three to six months.

“Although PCB sales in North American continued below last year’s level in November, orders again came in above last year,” said Sharon Starr, IPC’s director of market research. “Strong orders in the fourth quarter have driven the book-to-bill ratio into positive territory, which offers hope that year-on-year PCB sales growth will turn positive in 2015,” she added.

The data are compiled from an undisclosed number of rigid and flexible PCB fabricators in the US and Canada. 

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