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Sunday, June 01, 2014

Restaurant Performance Index increases in April, Strongest since May 2013

by Calculated Risk on 6/01/2014 11:57:00 AM

From the National Restaurant Association: Restaurant Performance Index Gained 0.3 Percent in April as Sales and Customer Traffic Continued to Rise

Fueled by improving same-store sales and customer traffic and a positive outlook among restaurant operators, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) rose for the second consecutive month. The RPI – a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry – stood at 101.7 in April, up 0.3 percent from March and the strongest level since May 2013. In addition, the RPI stood above 100 for the 14th consecutive month, which signifies expansion in the index of key industry indicators.

“The recent rise in the RPI was fueled by improvements in same-store sales and customer traffic, which are back on a positive trajectory after the winter soft patch,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the Association. “In addition, restaurant operators have an optimistic outlook for business conditions in the months ahead, which is reflected by the expectations component of the RPI rising to its highest level in two years.”
For the second consecutive month, a majority of restaurant operators reported higher same-store sales. ... Restaurant operators reported a net gain in customer traffic levels for the second straight month, after registering declines in the previous three months.
emphasis added
Restaurant Performance Index Click on graph for larger image.

The index increased to 101.7 in April, up from 101.4 in March. (above 100 indicates expansion).

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