Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Restaurant Performance Index declined in September

by Bill McBride on 10/31/2012 06:27:00 PM

From the National Restaurant Association: Restaurant Performance Index Declined in September Due to Softer Sales, Traffic

The RPI – a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry – stood at 100.4 in September, down 0.3 percent from August. Despite the decline, September represented the 11th consecutive month that the RPI stood above 100, which signifies continued expansion in the index of key industry indicators.

“Although restaurant operators reported softer same-store sales and customer traffic levels in September, they are somewhat more bullish about sales growth in the months ahead,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the Association. “Forty-five percent of restaurant operators expect their sales to improve in the next six months, while only 11 percent expect weaker sales.”

The Current Situation Index, which measures current trends in four industry indicators (same-store sales, traffic, labor and capital expenditures), stood at 99.9 in September – down 0.7 percent from a level of 100.6 in August. Although same-store sales remained positive in September, the softness in the labor and customer traffic indicators outweighed the performance, which led to a Current Situation Index reading below 100 for the second time in the last three months.
Restaurant Performance Index Click on graph for larger image.

The index declined to 100.4 in September, down 0.3% from August (above 100 indicates expansion).

Restaurant spending is discretionary, so even though this is "D-list" data, I like to check it every month.

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