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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Restaurant Performance Index declines in January, Still "solidly positive"

by Calculated Risk on 2/29/2012 09:04:00 PM

From the National Restaurant Association: Restaurant Industry Outlook Remains Positive Despite Slight Dip in Restaurant Performance Index

The outlook for the restaurant industry is positive for the coming months, as the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) remained well above 100 in January. The RPI – a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry – stood at 101.3 in January, down from December’s strong level of 102.2. Despite the decline, January represented the third consecutive month that the RPI stood above 100, which signifies expansion in the index of key industry indicators.

“Although the Restaurant Performance Index dipped somewhat from December’s nearly six-year high, it remained solidly in positive territory,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the Association. “Restaurant operators reported positive same-store sales for the eighth consecutive month, and a majority of them expect business to continue to improve in the months ahead.”
Restaurant operators reported positive same-store sales for the eighth consecutive month in January. ... Restaurant operators also reported positive customer traffic results in January.
Restaurant Performance Index Click on graph for larger image.

The index decreased to 101.3 in January from 102.2 in December (above 100 indicates expansion).

The data for this index only goes back to 2002.

This is "D-list" data (at best), but restaurant spending is discretionary and can tell us a little something about the overall economy. This index showed contraction in July and August, but is now solidly positive.