North American PCB Industry Growth Continues Strong

IPC Releases PCB Industry Results for November 2019

IPC announced today the November 2019 findings from its North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program. Sales and orders in November were strong and continued to outpace last year. The book-to-bill ratio stands at 1.08.

Total North American PCB shipments in November 2019 were up 17.2 percent compared to the same month last year. Year-to-date sales growth as of November is 7.7 percent ahead of the same period last year. Compared to the preceding month, November shipments increased 0.7 percent.

PCB bookings in November increased 11.1 percent year-over-year. Year-to-date order growth is up to 4.4 percent. Bookings in November fell 18.6 percent from the previous month.

“Business is booming for the North American PCB industry as sales and orders outpace last year’s performance by a substantial margin,” said Sharon Starr, IPC’s director of market research. “A strong book-to-bill ratio following three months of positive ratios indicates the likelihood for continued sales growth through the first quarter of 2020.”

Note: The January 2019 ratio has been revised since its original publication due to updated data from statistical program participants.

Note: The November 2018, January 2019, June 2019 and October 2019 growth rates have been revised since their original publication due to updated data from statistical program participants.

View Chart in PDF

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. PCB companies that are IPC members doing business in North America are invited to contact for information about participating in 2020.

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.