The National Electrical Manufacturers Association’s (NEMA) Electroindustry Business Conditions Index (EBCI) dipped to 53.6 in July from 59.4 in June, remaining above the break-even mark of 50 to indicate growth in the sector. Nearly two-thirds of panelists surveyed reported that business conditions were unchanged in July, compared to four in 10 saying so in June. Only 21 percent of respondents reported an improvement in business conditions during the month, compared to 38 percent who said so in June, while 14 percent of respondents claimed that business conditions were worsening, roughly on par with the 19 percent who said so last month.

The survey also measures the intensity of change in the electroindustry, which inched upward from +0.2 in June to +0.4 in July. Panelists are asked to rate the intensity change on a scale from -0.5 (deteriorated significantly) to +5 (improved significantly).

The EBCI for North American industry business conditions over the next six months softened to 57.1 in July from 59.4 in June, with 43 percent of respondents in July anticipating minimal to no change versus the 31 percent who said so in June. Roughly one-third of respondents in July said they’re anticipating an improvement in conditions over the next six months, while 44 percent reported likewise in June; and respondents anticipating conditions to decline dropped from 25 percent in June to 21 percent in July.

The report is based on responses from 14 panelists who are senior managers at NEMA member companies.

Meanwhile, shipments of high-intensity discharge lamps are continuing their steady decline, falling 16.1 percent in the first quarter of 2016 from the same period a year ago, according to the latest data on HID lamp shipments from NEMA. Meanwhile, sodium-vapor and mercury-vapor lamp shipments increased 0.6 percent and 5.3 percent, respectively, in the first quarter of 2016 from the first quarter of 2015. Sodium vapor lamps made up more than one-third of HID lamp sales during the period while mercury-vapor and metal-halide lamps accounted for 4.1 percent and 61.8 percent of sales, respectively.

Shipments of linear fluorescent lamps also declined in the first quarter of 2016, in this case representing the ninth-consecutive quarter of falling numbers, according to NEMA’s latest data of linear fluorescent lamp shipments. T12 lamps fell 14.5 percent in the first quarter of 2016 from the first quarter of 2015, while T5 and T8 shipments dropped by 1.3 percent and 8.9 percent, respectively, for the same period. T8 lamps made up more than two-thirds of fluorescent lamp shipments in the first quarter of 2016, T12 accounted for 14.5 percent, and T5 lamps for 11.2 percent. Meanwhile, T-LED lamps made up 6.9 percent of shipments during the period, a significant gain in market share for the emerging category.

NEMA's Lighting Systems Shipments Index, which measures demand for lighting equipment, increased by 0.8 percent from the fourth quarter of 2015 to the first quarter of 2016, and by 0.6 percent from the first quarter of 2015 to the first quarter of 2016. Lighting fixtures and emergency lighting "gained ground" in the first quarter of 2016 over the year-earlier period while ballast, miniature lamp, and large lamp components declined for the same period, NEMA reported in a press release.