IPC recently announced the July 2021 findings from its North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program. The book-to-bill ratio stands at 1.29. Total North American PCB shipments in July 2021 were up 7.3% compared to the same month last year. Compared to the preceding month, July shipments fell 15.8%. PCB year-to-date bookings in July were up 18.6% compared to last year. Bookings in July fell 4.3% from the previous month.

“The North American PCB sector continues to see strong demand, but supply chain shortages are slowing shipments, leading to a growing backlog,” said Shawn DuBravac, IPC’s chief economist. “The book-to-bill of 1.29 is a historic high, going back to the start of the IPC PCB report in 1991.”

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 12 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.

Additional details are available at www.ipc.org.