Latest Business Barometer Measuring Independents' Attitudes Shows Slight Increase

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NEW YORK—The Jobson Research Optical Business Barometer (OBB), which indexes the ratings of independent ECPs' attitudes of their business and the general businesses climate, showed an increase this month from a 3.4 in October to a 3.6 in November. The rating also shows an increase from November ratings of 2011 and 2010, which stood at 3.5 and 3.3, respectively. The average overall rating for January through November 2012 stands at a 3.7 as compared to 3.6 in 2011 and 3.5 in 2010.

The confidence rating for overall optical retail business for the upcoming six months has decreased slightly, indexing at 3.6 in November as compared to 3.7 in October 2012. The confidence rating for future business stood at 3.7 in November 2011 and 3.4 in November 2010. Averaged future ratings for the period January through November 2012 rose slightly to a 3.8, as compared to 3.7 in November 2011 and 3.6 in November 2010.

Independents' November business ratings for exams, eyeglasses and contact lenses reflect a positive attitude among ECPs. As compared to October 2012, exam ratings have increased from a 3.5 to a 3.6, eyeglasses ratings have increased from a 3.4 to a 3.5 and contact lenses remain at 3.4. The period January through November showed average index scores for independents' eyeglasses sales at 3.6, contact lenses at 3.5 and exams at 3.7.

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 showed an increase from a revised index of 73.1 in October to a 73.7 in November.

The OBB is sponsored by International Vision Expo. For a full report with additional information and charts, visit VisionMonday.com.