Friday, February 26, 2010

Restaurant Index declines in January

by Bill McBride on 2/26/2010 05:12:00 PM

Note: This index is based on year-over-year performance, and the headline index might be slow to recognize a pickup in business.

Restaurant Performance Index Click on graph for larger image in new window.

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

Note: Any reading below 100 shows contraction for this index.

From the National Restaurant Association (NRA): Restaurant Performance Index Declines Slightly in January, But Optimism for Future Business Conditions Strengthens

[T]he Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) ... stood at 98.3 in January, down 0.3 percent from December’s level.

“Although the current situation indicators remained soft in January, the Expectations Index rose above 100 for the first time in 9 months,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of Research and Knowledge Group for the National Restaurant Association. “Restaurant operators are relatively optimistic about improving sales growth and economic conditions in the months ahead, and their capital spending plans rose to the highest level in five months.”

January’s mark of 98.3 represents the 27th consecutive month of an index below 100, which signifies contraction in the index of key industry indicators. The full report is available online.
The Current Situation Index, which measures current trends in four industry indicators (same-store sales, traffic, labor and capital expenditures), stood at 96.6 in January – down 0.8 percent from December. In addition, January represented the 29th consecutive month below 100, which signifies contraction in the current situation indicators.
Restaurant operators also reported softer customer traffic results in January. Twenty-six percent of restaurant operators reported an increase in customer traffic between January 2009 and January 2010, down from 30 percent who reported higher customer traffic in December. Fifty-four percent of operators reported a traffic decline in January, up from 47 percent who reported lower traffic in December.
emphasis added