Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Restaurant Peformance Index: 16th Consecutive Month of Contraction

by Bill McBride on 3/31/2009 11:55:00 AM

From the National Restaurant Association (NRA): Restaurant Industry Outlook Remains Uncertain as Restaurant Performance Index Stood Below 100 for 16th Consecutive Month

Restaurant industry performance remained soft in February, as the National Restaurant Association’s comprehensive index of restaurant activity stood below 100 for the 16th consecutive month. The Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) ... stood at 97.5 in February, up 0.1 percent from its January level.

“Although the index registered its second consecutive monthly gain, each of the RPI’s eight indicators stood below 100 in February, which signifies continued contraction,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of Research and Information Services for the Association. “A majority of restaurant operators reported negative same-store sales and customer traffic levels in February, and their outlook for sales growth in the months ahead remains uncertain.”
emphasis added
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.