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National Restaurant Association - Restaurant Performance Index holds steady in October

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Restaurant Performance Index holds steady in October

Balanced by softer current conditions and stronger future optimism among restaurant operators, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) remained essentially unchanged in October.

RPI_Oct2011.jpgThe RPI – a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry – stood at 100.0 in October, down 0.1 percent over September's 100.1 level.

“Although sales results were somewhat softer in October, restaurant operators reported net positive same-store sales for the fifth consecutive month,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the Association.

“In addition, each of the four forward-looking indicators improved in October, which pushed the Expectations Index to its highest level in four months,” he said.

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 99.5 in October – down 0.6 percent from September’s level of 100.1. October marked the third time in the last four months that the Current Situation Index stood below 100, which signifies contraction in the current situation indicators. Restaurant operators reported positive same-store sales for the fifth consecutive month in October, although results were somewhat softer than September’s performance. Restaurant operators also reported softer customer traffic levels in October.

The Expectations Index stood at 100.5 in October – up 0.4 percent from September and the highest level in four months. October also marked the second consecutive month that the Expectations Index stood above 100, which represents a positive outlook among restaurant operators for business conditions in the months ahead.

Restaurant operators’ outlook for capital spending rose for the third consecutive month. Forty-nine percent of restaurant operators plan to make a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion or remodeling in the next six months, the highest level in four months.

For more details, read our news release, full RPI report and subscription-based Restaurant TrendMapper.

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