Latest Business Barometer Measuring Independents' Attitudes Toward Business Shows Small Increase

NEW YORK—The Jobson Research Optical Business Barometer (OBB) Index, which indexes the ratings of independent ECPs’ attitudes of their business and the general businesses climate, showed an increase in the month of November. The overall business rating for independent optical retail rose from a 3.4 in October to a 3.6, which also stands above November ratings of 2011 and 2010, which stood at 3.5 and 3.3, respectively. Furthermore, the average of overall ratings from January through November 2012 stands at a 3.7 as compared to 3.6 in 2011 and 3.5 in 2010.


The confidence rating for overall optical retail business for the upcoming six months has decreased slightly, indexing at 3.6 in November as compared to 3.7 in October 2012. The confidence rating for future business stood at 3.7 in November 2011 and 3.4 in November 2010. Averaged future ratings for the period January through November 2012 rose slightly to a 3.8, as compared to 3.7 in Nov. 2011 and 3.6 in Nov. 2010.

Independents’ November business ratings for exams, eyeglasses and contact lenses reflect a positive attitude among ECPs. As compared to October 2012, exam ratings have increased from a 3.5 to a 3.6, eyeglasses ratings have increased from a 3.4 to a 3.5 and contact lenses remained at 3.4.


The period January through November showed average index scores for independents’ eyeglasses sales at 3.6, showing steady increase from the same periods in 2011 and 2010 which stood at 3.5 and 3.4, respectively. The average index scores for contact lenses January through November 2012 stood at 3.5 as compared the same rating for this period in 2011 and a 3.4 rating for the period in 2010. The eye exams index for January through November 2012 rose slightly to 3.7, showing consistent 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 showed an increase from a revised index of 73.1 in October to a 73.7 in November. It is worth nothing that the index fell to a 40.5 in October 2011 (a low for the past 13 months), rose to a high of 71.6 in February 2012 and has yielded varied ratings since that time. The lowest index recorded was 25.3 in February 2009, and the highest a 144.7 in January 2000. The Consumer Confidence period on period change shows no influence from the November 2012 presidential election.


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