Among the highlights of the report: Rigid printed circuit board shipments declined 27.4% and bookings were down 13% in August 2009 from August 2008, according to IPC’s monthly report. Year to date, rigid printed circuit board shipments were down 28.7% and bookings fell by 26.9%. Compared to the previous month, rigid printed circuit board shipments grew by 4.8% and rigid bookings increased 12.2%.

Flexible circuit shipments in August 2009 went down 13.7% and bookings increased 7.5% compared to August 2008. Year to date, flexible circuit shipments were down 2.7% and bookings were down 7.3%. Compared to the previous month, flexible circuit shipments went up 2.1% and flex bookings increased 26.5%.

For rigid printed circuit boards and flexible circuits combined, industry shipments in August 2009 decreased 26.5% from August 2008 and orders booked decreased 11.7% from August 2008. Year to date, combined industry shipments were down 27% and bookings were down 25.7%. Compared to the previous month, combined industry shipments for August 2009 increased 4.5% and bookings went up 13.1%.

“It’s slow going, but we’re seeing more signs of recovery in the North American printed circuit board industry,” said IPC president Denny McGuirk. “Rigid printed circuit bookings are strengthening, and that is keeping the book-to-bill ratio well above parity. It has been positive now for four consecutive months, which suggests that we should start to see the impact in sales growth this fall.”

The full monthly report is available from IPC.