BANNOCKBURN, IL — North American printed circuit board fabricators reported shipments rose 2.7% year-over-year in July.
The 90-day moving average orders were also up 5.8%, IPC said.
The book-to-bill ratio strengthened to 1.09. It was the tenth straight month the ratio finished above the 1.0 benchmark indicating future growth.
Shipments were down 14.3% sequentially and orders fell 20.6%.
Year-to-date shipments are down 0.3%, reflecting negative growth rates seen earlier this year. Since January, orders are up 3.9% versus 2014.
“North American PCB sales and orders continued to exceed last year’s levels in July,” said Sharon Starr, IPC’s director of market research.
“The negative month-to-month growth rates in sales and orders reflect normal seasonal patterns. The best news is the 10-month run of positive book-to-bill ratios,” she added, “as this is a good indicator of sales growth in the second half of this year.”
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 1.0 suggests that current demand is ahead of supply, which is a positive indicator for sales growth over the next three to six months.