The latest Optical Business Barometer (OBB) report from Jobson Optical Research, a survey designed to gauge business attitudes among independent eyecare professionals (ECPs) in the U.S., is now issued quarterly instead of monthly. Data are still collected each month, but then they are aggregated and analyzed on a quarterly basis. Eyeglasses, contact lenses and exams all showed growth during the first quarter of 2016 as compared to the same quarter in 2015. However, when compared to the growth between the first quarters in 2015 and 2014, the rate of growth is lower.

Bad weather during the first quarter of 2014 and 2015 mostly affected the Northeast and Midwest regions, but the weather in the first quarter of this year was mild. As a likely result, the optical business ratings in these areas for the current first quarter were significantly improved over the first quarters of 2015 and 2014.

The OBB's data are based on a monthly online survey of a representative sample of independent optical retailers in the U.S., conducted by Jobson Optical Research. Questions are asked during one month of the quarter of around 300 independent ECPs across the U.S.