Monday, October 31, 2011

Restaurant Performance Index increased in September

by Bill McBride on 10/31/2011 12:45:00 PM

From the National Restaurant Association: Restaurant Performance Index Rose Above 100 in September, as Sales and Traffic Levels Improved

Buoyed by stronger same-store sales and customer traffic levels, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) topped the 100 mark in September for the first time in three months. The RPI – a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry – stood at 100.1 in September, up 0.7 percent from August and its highest level since June. In addition, September represented the first time in three months that the RPI stood above 100, the level above which signifies expansion in the index of key industry indicators.

“The September increase in the Restaurant Performance Index was fueled by improvements in the same-store sales and customer traffic indicators,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the Association. “Among the forward-looking indicators, restaurant operators are more optimistic about sales growth in the months ahead, while their outlook for the overall economy remains cloudy.”
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Restaurant operators reported stronger same-store sales in September. ... Restaurant operators also bounced back from a sluggish August performance to report net positive customer traffic levels in September.
Restaurant Performance Index Click on graph for larger image.

The index increased to 100.1 in September (abpve 100 indicates expansion).

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

Last month I wrote: "August was an especially weak economic month following the debt ceiling debate, and it will be interesting to see if these indicators show some rebound in September and October." This is a small rebound, but this suggests the recent dip might have been partially due to the default threat.

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