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Friday, September 30, 2011

Restaurant Performance Index declined in August

by Calculated Risk on 9/30/2011 12:06:00 PM

From the National Restaurant Association: Restaurant Performance Index Fell to Lowest Level in 13 Months Amid Growing Operator Uncertainty

Dampened by softer sales and traffic levels and continued uncertainty among restaurant operators, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) declined for the second consecutive month in August. The RPI – a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry – stood at 99.4 in August, down 0.3 percent from July. In addition, August marked the second consecutive month that the RPI stood below 100, the level above which signifies expansion in the index of key industry indicators.

“The August decline in the Restaurant Performance Index resulted from softening of both current situation and expectations indicators, as well as Hurricane Irene,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the Association. “Although restaurant operators reported net positive same-store sales results in August, their six-month outlook for both sales growth and the economy continued to deteriorate.”
Although restaurant operators reported net positive same-store sales in August, the overall results were softer than recent months. ... Meanwhile, restaurant operators reported a net decline in customer traffic for the first time in three months.
Restaurant Performance Index Click on graph for larger image in graph gallery.

The index declined to 99.4 in August (below 100 indicates contraction).

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

Note: 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.