The Optical Business barometer (OBB), a monthly survey designed to gauge business attitudes among independent eye care professionals in the U.S., stood at 3.81 for May 2015, as compared to an April 2015 rating of 3.83. However, it showed an increase when compared to a May 2014 rating of 3.73, and when further compared to a May 2013 of 3.65.

The confidence rating, which measures the outlook of independent eyecare professionals for the optical retail business for the upcoming six months, increased slightly between April 2015 and May 2015, from 3.87 to 3.93, respectively. The May 2015 rating of 3.93 compares to a score of 3.87 in 2014 and 3.82 in 2013. The average rating for January 2015 through May 2015 stood at 3.90, the highest January-May rating for the past five years.

The May 2015 monthly scores for eyeglasses, exams and contact lenses all showed increases from the previous years. For eyeglasses, the May rating rose from 3.71 in 2014 to 3.80 in 2015. It further compares to a 3.64 score in 2013. For exams, the rating rose from 3.77 in 2014 to 3.80 in 2015, and further compares to 3.62 in 2013. Finally, the rating for contact lenses rose from 3.64 in 2014 to 3.65 in 2015, compared with 3.52 in 2013.

The barometer'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. Ratings are based on a scale of 1 to 5 where 1 is very negative, 3 is neutral and 5 is very positive.