Latest Business Barometer Attitudes Shows Slight Dip in September Among Independents

NEW YORK—The Optical Business Barometer (OBB), provided by Jobson Research, shows a slightly lower rating for business attitudes among independents this month compared to the prior three. The overall rating for September 2012 stands at a 3.6, as compared to a 3.7 rating previously held for the months of June, July and August. The rating, however, shows an increase from the same period in previous years, as September ratings for 2011 and 2010 stood at 3.5 and 3.3, respectively.


The rating for independents’ business attitudes about eyeglass sales decreased to 3.5 in September from a 3.7 in August, with contact lenses dipping from 3.6 to 3.5. The eye exams’ index rated a 3.6 as compared to a 3.8 in August. The period January through September showed average scores for independents’ towards eyeglasses sales at 3.7, showing steady increase from the same periods 2011 and 2010 which stood at 3.6 and 3.5. The average scores for contact lenses January through September also showed a slight increase, rating a 3.6 as compared to 3.5 and 3.4 in 2011 and 2010. Eye exams for the same period stood at 3.7, showing steady increase from a 3.6 in the same period 2011 and a 3.5 in 2010.

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


OBB findings are further compared to the Consumer Confidence Index from the Conference Board. This month, the Consumer Confidence Survey yielded an increase from a revised 61.3 in August to a 70.3 in September. It is worth nothing that in the past year, October 2011 showed the lowest rating with an index of 40.5, and the high point was reached in February 2012 with an index of 71.6. The index has shown varied ratings since that time. The highest index recorded was a 144.7 in January 2000, and the lowest index was a 25.3 in February 2009.


The OBB is sponsored by International Vision Expo. For more information or to purchase a subscription to the Optical Business Barometer, please visit