April 2013 Optical Business Barometer Shows Decrease in ECP Ratings

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NEW YORK—The Optical Business Barometer (OBB), a monthly gauge of general business attitudes among independent ECPs sourced by Jobson Research, stands at a 3.65 rating for April 2013. The rating marks a decrease from the March 2013 rating of 3.84, and a slight decline in the overall business rating since April 2012, which stood at 3.67. The rating shows an increase from ratings of the same period in 2011 and 2010, which stood at 3.64 and 3.60, respectively.

Average ratings from eyecare professionals for the period of January through April stood at 3.75. This rating marks a decrease for the same period in 2012, which stood at 3.82. The average rating for the same period in 2011 and 2010 stood at 3.67 and 3.61, respectively.

The ECP confidence rating also reflects a slight decline this month, with the April 2013 rating indexing at 3.67 as compared to a 3.79 in March. Average confidence ratings stood at 3.79 in April 2012, 3.71 in April 2011 and 3.73 in April 2010.

April 2013 ratings for eyeglasses, exams and contact lenses also decreased, with eyeglass ratings shifting from a 3.79 in March to a 3.63 in April, exams from a 3.82 to 3.70 and contact lenses from 3.68 to 3.55. Average scores for the period January through April 2013 stood at 3.72 for eyeglasses, 3.75 for exams and 3.59 for contact lenses.

The overall optical rating by census region for January through April 2013 stood at 3.83 in the Northeast, 3.91 in the South and 3.65 for both the Midwest and West U.S. census regions.

OBB ratings are further compared to findings from the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Survey. The latest survey findings revealed an increase in April 2013 to a 68.1 rating as compared to a revised 61.9 rating in March.

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 based on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is "very negative," 3 is “neutral” and 5 is "very positive."

For a full report complete with charted progress, visit VisionMonday.com.