Saturday, October 30, 2010

Restaurant Index shows expansion in September

by Bill McBride on 10/30/2010 08:45:00 AM

This is one of several industry specific indexes I track each month.

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 above 100 shows expansion for this index.

From the National Restaurant Association (NRA): Restaurant Industry Outlook Improved in September as Restaurant Performance Index Rose Above 100 for First Time in Five Months

Driven by improving same-store sales and customer traffic levels, as well as growing optimism among restaurant operators, the outlook for the restaurant industry improved in September. The National Restaurant 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 100.3 in September, up a solid 0.8 percent from its August level. In addition, the RPI rose above 100 for the first time in five months, which signifies expansion in the index of key industry indicators.

“The RPI’s solid gain in September was the result of broad-based improvements among both the current situation and forward-looking indicators,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the National Restaurant Association. “Restaurant operators reported positive same-store sales and customer traffic levels for the first time in six months, which propelled the RPI’s Current Situation Index to its highest level in nearly three years.”
...
Restaurant operators reported a net increase in same-store sales for the first time in six months in September. ... Restaurant operators also reported a slight uptick in customer traffic levels in September.emphasis added
Restraurants are a discretionary expense, and this slight expansion is a little bit of good news.