Jobson Optical Research's Optical Business Barometer fell to the lowest so far this year in the month of May. Independent eye care professionals in the U.S. rated their outlook toward the industry at an average of 3.4, down from 3.6 in April and 3.9 in March, and on a par with the rating in May 2010. The barometer's scale goes from 1, which means very negative, to 5, very positive. All four geographic regions saw declines, and contact lenses were the only category to remain steady with the April rating; eyeglasses and eye exams both fell. The study notes, however, that this year's ratings are progressing better than they were in the first five months of 2010.