BUSINESS: Research + Stats Latest Business Barometer Reflects Continued Steady Attitude Among Independents By Staff Tuesday, September 18, 2012 2:00 PM NEW YORK—The Optical Business Barometer for August 2012 provided by Jobson Research once again marks a steady business attitude among independent eyecare professionals, with a 3.7 index identical to ratings from both July and June. The rating also remains consistent with the 3.7 ratings from Aug. 2011 and Aug. 2010. The average rating for the overall optical business for January through August 2012 stands at 3.7, a slight increase from the averages of the same periods in 2011 and 2010, which stood at 3.6. The confidence rating for the upcoming six months also indexed at 3.7 this month, showing a steady increase over the past two years, with Aug. 2010 and Aug. 2011 indexing at 3.5 and 3.6, respectively. The rating for eyeglass sales increased to 3.7 this month from a 3.6 in July, with contact lenses remaining at 3.6. The eye exams index also remained consistent, rating a 3.8 in August as well as in July. The period January through August showed average scores for eyeglasses 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 also showed a slight increase at 3.6 as compared to 3.5 in both periods for 2011 and 2010. Eye exams for the same period stood at 3.7, showing increase from scores for the same periods in 2011 and 2010, which stood at 3.6. 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 a decrease from a revised 65.4 in July to 60.6 in August. 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 a steady decline 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 JobsonResearch.com.