Following two consecutive years of price declines, inflation returned to the lighting fixtures market during 2000-but only slightly. Despite strong product demand, worldwide competitive pressures have held lighting prices in check for the past half-decade.
Copper and some other input prices did rise moderately between 1999 and 2000, so U.S. manufacturers did attempt-with some success-to pass along price increases last year. But higher energy costs prevented any of this increased revenue from falling to the bottom line.
On an annual average basis, the U.S. Labor Department's Producer Price Index (PPI) for the lighting fixtures product segment rose by 0.2 percent between 1999 and 2000. All of the increase occurred during the second half of last year, so the December 2000 PPI was actually 0.8 percent higher than during the final month of of the previous year.
Demand slows but prices to rise
Despite slowing demand this year from the construction and remodeling industries, prices will probably still rise enough to allow manufacturers to recover at least some of their increased energy costs. However, there's nothing on the horizon to suggest that lighting fixtures will be the source of any significant inflation to builders during the early years of this decade.