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National Restaurant Association - RPI rose in February, as capital spending outlook hit 40-month high

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RPI rose in February, as capital spending outlook hit 40-month high

Driven by improving sales and traffic levels, as well as growing optimism among restaurant operators, the National Restaurant Association’s February Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) gained 0.4 percent from its January level and stood at 100.7. 

Performance Index February 11.jpg“February’s RPI gain was driven by solid improvements in the same-store sales and customer traffic indicators,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the Association.  “Restaurant operators reported positive same-store sales and customer traffic results in February, after January’s results were dampened by extreme weather conditions in many parts of the country.”

“In addition to improving sales and traffic indicators, restaurant operators’ outlook for capital spending hit a 40-month high, while their expectations for staffing growth rose to the highest level in nearly four years,” Riehle added.

The Restaurant Performance Index 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 99.4 in February – up 0.9 percent from its January level.  However, it remained below 100 for the fourth consecutive month, as the softness in the labor and capital expenditure indicators outweighed the gains in same-store sales and customer traffic. 

The Expectations Index stood at 101.9 in February – up slightly from January’s level of 101.8. Bolstered by an improving sales outlook, restaurant operators’ plans for capital spending rose to its highest level in 40 months. And, for the fifth consecutive month, restaurant operators reported a positive outlook for staffing gains in the months ahead. 

For more details on the February RPI, see our news release and subscription-based Restaurant TrendMapper.

Watch a video summary on the February RPI, plus an update on how rising gasoline prices affect restaurants.

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