Overall Optical Business Barometer Rating Declines Slightly for July 2013

NEW YORK—According to the latest Optical Business Barometer (OBB), a monthly index from Jobson Optical Research which measures independent eyecare professionals’ attitudes towards business, the overall optical business rating decreased slightly to a 3.63 rating in July. This rating compares to a 3.69 in June. The overall business rating for July 2012 and 2011 stood at 3.66, and at 3.55 in 2010.

The average of overall optical ratings for the period January through July 2013 stood at 3.71, declining slightly from a 3.74 average measured for the same period 2012. This average stood at 3.63 in 2011 and at 3.54 in 2010.


The confidence rating for the upcoming six months also a less positive outlook among ECPs toward overall optical retail business. The July 2013 confidence rating stood at 3.72, as compared to a 3.82 rating in June. The rating, however, shows steady marginal increase for July confidence ratings, which stood at 3.61 in 2010, 3.70 in 2011 and 3.71 in 2012.

ECP ratings for eyeglass business declined to a 3.63 rating in July 2013 from a 3.64 rating in June. The index for their outlook for exams, however, increased to a 3.74 rating from 3.71 in June, and contact lenses increased to 3.56 from 3.53.

For the seven month period January through July 2013, the average score for eyeglasses stood at 3.68, remaining steady with the same period in 2012 and increasing from the period for 2011 and 2010, which stood at 3.57 and 3.48, respectively. For contact lenses, the average index for this period stood at 3.57 for 2013, compared to 3.58 in 2012, 3.49 in 2011 and 3.45 in 2010. The average rating for exams stood at 3.73 for the period in 2013, compared to 3.74 in 2012, 3.63 in 2011 and 3.53 in 2010.


The overall optical rating among independents for January through July 2013 by U.S. census region stood at 3.74 for the Northeast, 3.84 for the South, 3.65 for the Midwest and 3.63 for the West.

Consumer confidence also decreased for July 2013, according to findings from the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Survey. The latest Consumer Confidence Index revealed a decrease in July to 80.3 from a revised 82.1 in June. 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 and is based on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is "very negative," 3 is “neutral” and 5 is "very positive."

For more information, visit jobsonresearch.com/obb or contact Jennifer Zupnick at 212-274-7164 or jzupnick@jobson.com.