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BANNOCKBURN, IL — North American PCB fabricators reported year-over-year shipment growth turned positive in September for the first time this year.

Strong order growth in recent months kept the book-to-bill ratio high at 1.14 in September, well above the 1.0 benchmark indicating future growth, IPC said.

Total North American PCB shipments in September were up 1% from last year. Year to date, shipments are down 3.5% from a year ago. Compared to the preceding month, September shipments increased 13.8%.

PCB bookings increased 4.1% year-over-year, while year-to-date order growth held steady at 4% above last year. Bookings in September were up 5.3% sequentially.

The book-to-bill ratio fell 10 basis points 1.14. The ratio, which 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, is considered an indicator of future demand.

“After eight consecutive months of book-to-bill ratios above parity (1.0), North American PCB sales finally saw positive year-over-year growth in September, driven by rigid PCB shipments,” said Sharon Starr, IPC’s director of market research. “Thanks to strong orders in recent months, the book-to-bill ratio remained high in September, indicating a likelihood of further sales growth in the coming months,” she added.

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