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National Restaurant Association - RPI gains in October

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RPI gains in October

Driven by stronger sales and traffic and a more optimistic outlook among restaurant operators, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) posted a solid gain in October. 

The RPI stood at 102.8 in October, up 1.8 percent from its September level.  In addition, the RPI stood above 100 for the 20th consecutive month, which signifies expansion in the index of key industry indicators.

“The positive same-store sales and customer traffic results suggest that restaurants are the beneficiaries of falling gas prices, which were down $0.88 since the end of June,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the Association.  “Elevated food costs continue to top the list of challenges reported by restaurant operators, but overall they remain generally optimistic that business conditions will improve in the months ahead.”

The RPI consists of two components – the Current Situation Index (measuring current trends) and the Expectations Index (measuring restaurant operators' six-month outlook) – and tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry.

The Current Situation Index stood at 103.1 in October – up 2.1 percent from September.  In addition, the Current Situation Index stood above 100 for the eighth consecutive month. Restaurant operators reported both higher same-store sales and customer traffic levels in October. Seventy-one percent of restaurant operators reported a same-store sales gain between October 2013 and October 2014, up from 63 percent who reported higher sales in August.  Meanwhile, only 11 percent of operators reported a same-store sales decline in October, down from 23 percent in September.

The Expectations Index stood at 102.5 in October – up 1.6 percent from September’s level of 100.9 - the 24th consecutive month above 100. A majority of operators expect their sales to rise in the months ahead, and they are somewhat more optimistic about the direction of the economy. A majority is also planning for capital expenditures in the next six months. 

More details are available at Restaurant.org/RPI and the newly revamped Restaurant TrendMapper (subscription required).

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