• NRA
    NRA We Serve America's Restaurants Representing nearly 500,000 restaurant businesses, we advocate for restaurant and foodservice industry interests and provide tools and systems that help members of all sizes achieve success.
  • NRAEF
    NRAEF Building & Retaining Talent The NRAEF is focused on developing a stronger workforce and building the next generation of industry leaders through education, scholarships and community engagement.
  • NRA Show
    NRA Show May 20-23, 2017 As the international foodservice marketplace, the NRA Show provides unparalleled opportunities for buyers and sellers to come together, conduct business and learn from each other.
  • ServSafe
    ServSafe Minimize Risk. Maximize Protection. For over 40 years, ServSafe® training programs have delivered the knowledge, leadership and protection that have earned the trust and confidence of business leaders everywhere.

National Restaurant Association - Consumer spending remains uneven

Skip to navigation Skip to content

News & Research

Share:
Email Print
News RSS

Consumer spending remains uneven

The August sales report is another indication that consumers continue to pick their spots carefully, despite the steady job growth and rising household income, according to the NRA’s chief economist Bruce Grindy.  His Economist’s Notebook commentary and analysis appears regularly on Restaurant.org and Restaurant TrendMapper.

Restaurants were one of the bright spots in an otherwise sluggish retail sales report in August, according to preliminary figures from the U.S. Census Bureau.  Eating and drinking place sales totaled $55.3 billion on a seasonally-adjusted basis in August, up 0.9 percent from July and the largest monthly gain since February.   

In contrast, overall consumer spending disappointed in August, with total retail sales dipping 0.3 percent on a seasonally-adjusted basis.  This came on the heels of a paltry 0.1 percent increase in July. 

August sales were expected to be somewhat dampened by lower spending at auto dealers (-0.9 percent) and gasoline stations (-0.8 percent).  However, weakness was also seen at building supply stores (-1.4 percent), sporting goods and hobby stores (-1.4 percent), furniture stores (-0.7 percent), department stores (-0.6 percent) and non-store retailers (-0.3 percent). 

On the flip side, sales were somewhat higher at clothing stores (+0.7 percent) and grocery stores (+0.4 percent).   

The August sales report is another indication that consumers continue to pick their spots carefully, despite the steady job growth and rising household income.  Overall, the economic fundamentals remain positive for consumers, which means spending will likely pick up if the will is there. 

Looking specifically at restaurants, new research indicates that consumers certainly have the appetite for additional spending.  According to a national survey conducted September 8-11 by ORC International for the National Restaurant Association, 45 percent of adults say they are not eating on the premises of restaurants as frequently as they would like.  In addition, 48 percent of consumers say they are not purchasing take-out or delivery as often as they would like.

Conserve RSS Healthcare RSS Conserve RSS

▲ Back to Top

New report

Spot Ad right

We're glad you're here!®

® 2012-2015 National Restaurant Association. All rights reserved.

2055 L St. NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036
(202) 331-5900 | (800) 424-5156