April 2013 Optical Business Barometer Shows Decrease in ECP Ratings

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NEW YORK—The Optical Business Barometer (OBB), a monthly gauge of general business attitudes among independent ECPs sourced by Jobson Research, stands at a 3.65 rating for April 2013. The rating marks a slight decrease from the April 2012 overall business rating which stood at 3.67, but shows an increase from ratings of the same period in 2011 and 2010, which stood at 3.64 and 3.60, respectively. The April 2013 rating shows a decrease from the overall business rating in March, which stood at 3.84.

The average rating from eyecare professionals for the period of Jan. through April 2013 stands at 3.75 as compared to 3.82 for the same period in 2012. The average rating for the same period in 2011 and 2010 stood at 3.67 and 3.61, respectively.


The April 2013 ECP confidence rating of 3.67 reflects a slightly less optimistic outlook among independents, as compared to 3.79 in March. Average confidence ratings stood at 3.79 in April 2012, 3.71 in April 2011 and 3.73 in April 2010.

Ratings from March to April 2013 for eyeglasses, exams and contact lenses also showed a decline; eyeglasses ratings decreased from a 3.79 in March to a 3.63 in April, exams decreased from a 3.82 to 3.70 and contact lenses decreased from 3.68 to 3.55.

Average scores for eyeglasses for the period January through April 2013 stood at 3.72 as compared to 3.75 for the same period in 2012, 3.61 for the same period of 2011 and 3.56 for the same period in 2010. Average scores for contact lenses in this period stood at 3.59 for 2013, 3.61 in 2012 and 3.51 in both 2011 and 2010. For exams, average ratings stood at 3.75 for Jan. through April 2013, 3.79 for this period in 2012, 3.66 in April 2011 and 3.59 in 2010.


The overall optical rating by census region for January through April 2013 stood at 3.83 in the Northeast, 3.91 in the South and 3.65 for both the Midwest and West U.S. census regions.

OBB ratings are further compared to findings from the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Survey. The latest survey findings revealed an in increase in April 2013 to a 68.1 rating as compared to a revised 61.9 rating in March. The Consumer Confidence Index reached its highest point in January 2000 with a rating of 144.7 and its lowest point in February 2009 with a rating of 25.3.

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The OBB is a monthly survey designed to gauge the optical business by studying a representative sample of independent optical retailers (single locations or groups of no more than three locations) and measuring the trends of eyecare professionals at these locations. It is conducted online by Jobson Optical Research based on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is "very negative," 3 is "neutral" and 5 is "very positive."

For a full report complete with charted progress, visit www.jobsonresearch.com/obb.