BUSINESS: Research + Stats Optical Business Barometer Report Shows Dip in ECP Ratings for September 2013 By Catherine Wolinski Tuesday, October 22, 2013 9:54 AM NEW YORK—The Optical Business Barometer, a Jobson Optical Research report gauging optical business trends among independent eyecare professionals, showed a dip in overall optical business perception ratings among ECPs for September 2013. The overall rating of 3.56 compares to an August 2013 rating of 3.72. The 3.56 rating for September 2013 compares to a 3.57 rating for September 2012, a 3.48 rating for September 2011 and a 3.32 rating for September 2010. In the latest report, the average of the overall independent ECPs’ optical business perception ratings from January through September 2013 stood at 3.70, compared to 3.72 for the same period in 2012, showing slight decrease. The January through September average stood at 3.62 in 2011 and 3.53 in 2010. ECPs’ confidence outlook rating for the upcoming six months about the overall optical retail business decreased in the latest report, indexing at 3.67 as compared to the August index of 3.72. The 3.67 confidence rating for September 2013 compares to a 3.65 in September 2012, 3.54 in September 2011 and 3.53 in September 2010, showing an increase in ECP confidence in the month of September over time. September 2013 ratings for independents’ specific perceptions towards their eyeglasses, eye exams and contact lenses decreased since their measurements in August. The eyeglasses rating decreased to 3.49 from 3.68 in August, exams decreased to 3.57 from 3.76 in August, and contact lenses decreased to 3.47 from 3.59 in August. The average ratings for eyeglasses, exams and contact lenses for the period January through September 2013 were as follows: Eyeglasses stood at 3.66, even with the same period in 2012 and comparing to 3.56 for 2011 and 3.47 for 2010.Exams stood at 3.71, compared to 3.73 for the period in 2012, 3.64 for the period in 2011 and 3.53 for the period in 2010.Contact lenses stood at 3.56, compared to 3.58 for the period in 2012, 3.50 for the period in 2011 and 3.44 for the period in 2010. For the January through September 2013 overall optical rating by census region, the Northeast region stood at 3.72, the South at 3.85, the Midwest at 3.64 and the West at 3.59. Further comparison of the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Survey showed that the Consumer Confidence Index also declined slightly in September 2013. The Index stood at 79.7 for September as compared to a revised 81.8 rating for August. 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. Click here to view larger image. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.