The overall rating of the U.S. optical business environment showed an increase in October, up to a rating of 3.77 as compared to a rating of 3.71 in September, according to the Optical Business Barometer (OBB) compiled by Jobson Optical Research.

The overall rating of the U.S. optical business environment had declined in September to 3.71 as compared to 3.88 in August,

The October rating also improved against all previous ratings since 2010. October ratings stood at 3.54 in 2013, 3.44 in 2012, 3.38 in 2011 and 3.22 in 2010, making October 2014 the strongest rating for the month since the Barometer began. The rating is based on a scale of 1 to 5 where 1 is very negative, 3 is neutral and 5 is very positive.

In November, the overall rating decreased slightly, down to 3.72 from 3.77 in October. However, it showed an increase from all previous ratings for the month of November since 2010. November ratings stood at 3.58 in 2013 and 2012, 3.52 in 2011 and 3.33 in 2010. The November 2014 rating was therefore the strongest rating for the month of November since the Barometer began.

The confidence rating, which measures the independent opticians' forecast for their overall business in the upcoming six months, improved in October to 3.84 from a 3.77 rating in September. The October 2014 confidence rating is higher than for the same period in previous years: 3.65 in 2013, 3.69 in 2012, 3.54 in 2011 and 3.49 in 2010. Between October and November, the confidence rating was up slightly, showing a 3.87 rating for November versus a 3.84 rating in October. The November 2014 confidence rating is higher than for the same period in previous years: 3.75 in 2013, 3.64 in 2012, 3.69 in 2011 and 3.44 in 2010.

The October rating for eyeglasses rose from 3.45 in 2013 to 3.72 in 2014. For exams, the October rating rose from 3.56 in 2013 to 3.80 in 2014. The rating for contact lenses rose from 3.43 in October 2013 to 3.62 in October 2014. In November 2014, the monthly scores for eyeglasses, exams and contact lenses all showed increases from previous years as well. The November 2014 rating for eyeglasses rose to 3.67 from 3.57 in November 2013. The November rating in previous years were 3.54 in 2012, 3.50 in 2011 and 3.27 in 2010. For exams, the November rating rose from 3.69 in 2013 to 3.78 in 2014, and in previous years was 3.60 in 2012, 3.58 in 2011 and 3.31 in 2010. Finally, the rating for contact lenses rose from 3.53 in 2013 to a November rating of 3.56 in 2014, while it stood at 3.42 in 2012, 3.43 in 2011 and 3.19 in 2010.

The U.S. Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Survey, conducted by Nielsen, showed an increase in October to 94.5 from a revised September index of 89.0, but it then declined in November to 88.7. The high point of the Consumer Confidence Index occurred in January 2000 at 144.7 and the low point in February 2009 at 25.3.