January 2014 Optical Business Rating Increases From December, Decreases From Prior Years’ January Ratings

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NEW YORK—According to the latest Jobson Optical Research Optical Business Barometer (OBB), which rates independent ECPs' attitudes toward current and future optical business, the overall optical business rating has increased to 3.70 for January 2014, comparing to a December 2013 rating of 3.65. Though the month-to-month rating has increased, the January 2014 rating has declined from previous January ratings of 3.84 in 2013 and 3.81 in 2012, showing the lowest January rating since 2011.

Despite the decrease from January ratings of previous years, independent eyecare professionals’ confidence rating, measuring their outlook of overall optical retail business for the upcoming six months, increased to 3.73 in January 2014 from a 3.70 rating in December. The 3.73 rating also compares to a 3.85 rating in January 2013 and 3.79 rating in January 2012, showing the lowest January outlook rating since 2011.

Likewise, the January 2014 ratings for eyeglasses, exams and contact lenses all increased from December 2013, but decreased from previous January ratings: The January 2014 rating for eyeglasses increased to a 3.66 from a 3.62 rating in December, but compares to 3.81 in January 2013 and 3.72 in January 2012; the rating for exams increased to 3.76 for January 2014 from a 3.73 rating in December, but compares to 3.80 in January 2013 and 3.81 in January 2012; and the contact lens rating for January 2014 increased to 3.61 from 3.50 in December, but decreased from 3.63 in January of 2013.

By census region, the overall optical rating indexed at 3.94 in the South, 3.68 in the Northeast, 3.67 in the West and 3.49 in the Midwest.

Jobson's OBB is further compared to the Consumer Confidence Index from the Conference Board, which rebounded again in January 2014 to 80.7 from a revised 77.5 in December. The Consumer Confidence Index reached its highest point in January 2000 with a rating of 144.7 and its lowest point in February 2009 at 25.3.

For Vision Monday’s full OBB report, visit VisionMonday.com. For more information, visit jobsonresearch.com/obb or contact Jennifer Zupnick at 212-274-7164 or jzupnick@jobson.com.