Friday, January 30, 2009

Restaurant Performance Index at New Low

by Bill McBride on 1/30/2009 02:55:00 PM

Note: This is a new "record low", but the index has only been compiled since 2002, so this is the first recession for the index.

From the National Restaurant Association (NRA): Restaurant Industry Outlook Softens as the Restaurant Performance Index Fell to a Record Low in December

The outlook for the restaurant industry continued to weaken in December, as the National Restaurant Association's comprehensive index of restaurant activity fell to another record low. The Association's Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) - a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry - stood at 96.4 in December, down 0.2 percent from November and its 14th consecutive month below 100.

The December decline in the Restaurant Performance Index was the result of a drop in the current situation component. Same-store sales results were the softest in the history of the Restaurant Performance Index, with nearly two-thirds of restaurant operators reporting lower sales in December.
...
Capital spending activity in the restaurant industry deteriorated along with sales and traffic in recent months. Thirty-four percent of operators said they made a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion or remodeling during the last three months, the lowest level on record.
Restaurant Performance Index Click on graph for larger image in new window.

Unfortunately the data for this index only goes back to 2002.

The index values above 100 indicate a period of expansion; index values below 100 indicate a period of contraction.

Based on this indicator, the restaurant industry has been contracting since November 2007.