At its peak in the late 1990s and reviving from a subsequent trough in 2003, the NEMA Lighting Systems Index - a measure of NEMA member companies' US shipments of lighting products used to track equipment demand - has increased 1.4 percent in the first quarter of 2005.

Representing the interests of 400 manufacturers, data for the index is derived from regularly conducted statistical surveys.

As a result of low mortgage rates and a consequent housing market boom, construction continues to provide strong support for demand, however private nonresidential construction is still only beginning to recover from the sharp downturn in volume that occurred between 2001 and early 2004.

Still, any increase at all is a reflection of the demand for lighting equipment, and the index has already regained over six percent from its lowest point in 2003.

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