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National Restaurant Association - RPI rises to highest level in 2 years

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RPI rises to highest level in 2 years

Driven mainly by stronger sales and traffic levels, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index rose to its highest level in more than two years in May. 

The RPI stood at 102.1, the third consecutive monthly gain and strongest reading since March 2012.  In addition, the RPI stood above 100 for the 15th consecutive month, which signifies expansion in the index of key industry indicators.

“Positive sales results fueled the May increase in the RPI, as nearly two-thirds of restaurant operators said their same-store sales rose above year-ago levels,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the Association. 

“In addition, restaurant operators are increasingly optimistic about continued sales gains in the months ahead, a sentiment that is also showing up in their capital expenditure plans,” Riehle added.

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 102.0 in May – up 0.7 percent from April and the third consecutive solid monthly gain.  May also represented the third consecutive month that the Current Situation Index stood above 100, which signifies expansion in the current situation indicators.

For the third consecutive month, a majority of restaurant operators reported higher same-store sales.  Sixty-five percent of restaurant operators reported a same-store sales gain between May 2013 and May 2014, up from 51 percent in April and the highest proportion since March 2012. Restaurant operators also reported stronger customer traffic levels in May, as well as continued positive capital spending trends. 

The Expectations Index stood at 102.2 in May – unchanged from April’s level. May represented the 19th consecutive month in which the Expectations Index stood above 100, which indicates that restaurant operators remain optimistic about business conditions in the months ahead.

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

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