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Monday, September 30, 2013

Restaurant Performance Index declines in August

by Calculated Risk on 9/30/2013 01:06:00 PM

From the National Restaurant Association: Restaurant Performance Index Edged Down in August Amid Fading Operator Expectations

Due to a softer outlook among restaurant operators for sales growth and the economy, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) declined for the third consecutive month. The RPI – a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry – stood at 100.5 in August, down 0.2 percent from July’s level of 100.7. Despite the recent declines, the RPI remained above 100 for the sixth consecutive month, which signifies expansion in the index of key industry indicators.

“The August decline in the RPI was due almost entirely to a dip in the expectations indicators, with restaurant operators becoming less bullish about sales growth and the economy in the months ahead,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the Association.

“In contrast, operators reported positive same-store sales and customer traffic levels in August, and a majority of operators reported capital expenditures for the fourth consecutive month,” Riehle added.
The Current Situation Index, which measures current trends in four industry indicators (same-store sales, traffic, labor and capital expenditures), stood at 100.7 in August – up 0.6 percent from July and the first increase in three months. In addition, the Current Situation Index stood above 100 for the fifth consecutive month, which signifies expansion in the current situation indicators.

A majority of restaurant operators reported positive same-store sales in August, and the overall results were an improvement over July’s performance. ... Restaurant operators also reported stronger customer traffic levels in August.
emphasis added
Restaurant Performance Index Click on graph for larger image.

The index declined to 100.5 in August from 100.7 in July. (above 100 indicates expansion).

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