Latest News Optical Business Barometer Declines for February 2014, but Outlook Rating Increases for Upcoming Six Months By Staff Wednesday, March 19, 2014 12:27 AM NEW YORK—According to Jobson Optical Research’s latest Optical Business Barometer (OBB), a study measuring independent ECPs' attitudes toward current and future optical business, the overall optical business rating for February 2014 has dropped to 3.65 since the January rating of 3.70. However, ECPs’ confidence rating, which measures their outlook of overall optical retail business for the upcoming six months, increased in February to 3.84 from a January rating of 3.73. Ratings for eyeglasses, eye exams and contact lenses have declined from January to February 2014, with the rating for eyeglasses decreasing from 3.66 to 3.59, the rating for exams decreasing from 3.76 to 3.73, and the rating for contact lenses decreasing from 3.61 to 3.59. The February 2014 ratings for exams and contact lenses, however, were higher than their ratings in February 2013. Specifically, the February 2014 exam rating of 3.73 compares to 3.69 in February 2013 and the February 2014 contact lens rating of 3.59 compares to 3.51 in February of 2013. The February 2014 rating for eyeglasses fell below the rating from February 2013, from 3.66 to 3.59. Year-to-date average ratings for January through February 2014 stood at 3.74 for exams, compared to 3.74 in 2013; 3.62 for eyeglasses, compared to 3.73 in 2013; and 3.60 for contact lenses, compared to 3.57 in 2013. The overall optical business year-to-date average rating by census region stood at 3.90 for the South, 3.76 in the West, 3.53 in the Northeast and 3.52 in the Midwest. The OBB is further compared to the Consumer Confidence Index from the Conference Board. The Consumer Confidence Index declined in February to 78.1 from a revised 79.4 in January. The high point of the Consumer Confidence Index occurred in January 2000 at 144.7 and the low point in February 2009 at 25.3. The Optical Business Barometer is a monthly study of a representative sample of independent optical retailers (single locations and groups of no more than 3 locations) designed to gauge the optical business trends of eyecare professionals at independent optical locations and to provide independent optical retailers with a comparative “how's business” benchmark. It is conducted online by Jobson Optical Research based on a scale of 1 to 5 where 1 is very negative, 3 is neutral and 5 is very positive. For further comparisons from the February 2014 OBB, or to access the full OBB report, visit VisionMonday.com or contact Jennifer Zupnick at 212-274-7164 or firstname.lastname@example.org.