Demand for executives has rebounded slightly, says Exec-U-Net's first-quarter 1999 Executive Market Demand Index study of job listings. Overall, first-quarter 1999 demand increased 16% over first-quarter 1998 -- up from the 12% increase of fourth-quarter 1998 over fourth-quarter 1997 -- possibly signaling a reversal of last year's declining growth rate. By job function, sales/marketing showed the strongest growth; demand jumped 35%, double the national average. Demand for general managers grew 21%. But demand for consultants declined for the first time. By sector, signs of a manufacturing rebound emerged, as demand grew at near the national average. Strongest sector growth was in retail/distribution, where executive demand jumped 2.5 times the national average at 40%. Media/publishing/creative came in second at 31%; high-tech third at 30%. Geographically, the West Coast and South/Southeast showed strong growth while the Mid-Atlantic and Southwest slowed, and the international sector continued declined. Salary-wise, demand in $200K-plus executive positions led for the third straight quarter.