February Optical Business Barometer Index Shows Dip in Independents’ Outlook

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NEW YORK—The Optical Business Barometer (OBB), a monthly gauge of general business outlook attitudes among independent ECPs as surveyed by Jobson Research, showed a slight decrease for February 2013 rating with its latest index measuring a 3.7 for February as compared to a 3.8 measured in January 2013. The current February rating also reflects a decrease compared to that of February 2012, which stood at 3.9, but stands above February ratings from 2011 and 2010, which stood at 3.6 and 3.5, respectively.

February confidence ratings among independent ECPs for the upcoming six months in overall optical retail business dipped from 3.8 in January 2013 to 3.7 in February 2013. From January to February, the rating for eyeglasses fell from a 3.8 to 3.7; the rating for eye exams decreased from 3.8 to 3.7 while the rating for contact lenses decreased from 3.6 to 3.5.

The February 2013 overall optical index towards business for the Northeast census region stands at 3.7, decreasing from a 4.0 rating in January. The overall index rating for the South census region stands at 3.9, also a decrease from 4.0 in January. The Midwest census region stands at 3.7, remaining consistent with January’s rating, and the West census region’s index decreased to a 3.5 from a 3.7 in January.

OBB ratings are further compared to findings from the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Survey. The latest survey findings revealed an increase from a revised 58.4 index in January 2013 to 69.6 index in February 2013. 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.

The OBB is sponsored by International Vision Expo. For a full report complete with charted progress, visit VisionMonday.com.