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National Restaurant Association - RPI slips for second month in a row

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RPI slips for second month in a row

Due in part to a dampened outlook among restaurant operators, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) registered a modest decline in July. 

The RPI stood at 101.0 in July, down from a level of 101.3 in June and the second consecutive monthly decline.  Despite the recent downticks, the RPI remained above 100 for the 17th consecutive month, which signifies expansion in the index of key industry indicators.

“Although restaurant operators reported positive same-store sales and customer traffic results in July, the RPI edged down as a result of a mixed outlook for the months ahead,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the Association. 

“Restaurant operators were less bullish about the direction of the overall economy, and rising wholesale food costs are once again starting to pose a significant challenge," he 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 100.7 in July – down 0.1 percent from June and the second consecutive monthly decline.  Despite the drop, the Current Situation Index stood above 100 for the fifth consecutive month, which signifies expansion in the current situation indicators.

For the fifth consecutive month, a majority of restaurant operators reported higher same-store sales. Operators also reported positive customer traffic results and solid capital spending activity.

The Expectations Index stood at 101.2 in July – down from 101.7 in June and the second consecutive monthly decline.  Despite the recent drops, July represented the 21st consecutive month in which the Expectations Index stood above 100, which represents a generally optimistic outlook among restaurant operators for the coming months. However, they maintain mixed feelings about the outlook for the overall economy. In addition, a majority of restaurant operators said they are 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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