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National Restaurant Association - Sales, traffic gains fuel RPI in April

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Sales, traffic gains fuel RPI in April

Driven by stronger same-stores sales and customer traffic levels, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) posted a moderate gain in April. 

The RPI stood at 102.7 in April, up 0.5 percent from a level of 102.2 in March.  In addition, April represented the 26th consecutive month in which the RPI stood above 100, which signifies expansion in the index of key industry indicators.

“While individual indicators experienced some choppiness in recent months, the overall RPI stood above the 102 level for seven consecutive months,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the Association.  “This was driven by consistent majorities of restaurant operators reporting positive same-store sales as well as an optimistic outlook for sales growth 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 102.9 in April – up 1.0 percent from March and the highest level in four months. In addition, the Current Situation Index stood above 100 for the 14th consecutive month, which signifies expansion in the current situation indicators.

Seventy-one percent of restaurant operators reported a same-store sales gain between April 2014 and April 2015, up from 62 percent who reported higher sales in March. In addition, 55 percent of restaurant operators reported an increase in customer traffic between April 2014 and April 2015, up from 45 percent who reported higher traffic in March. Capital spending levels also remained elevated, as do future capital expenditure plans.

The Expectations Index stood at 102.5 in April – essentially unchanged from a level of 102.6 in March.  April represented the 30th consecutive month in which the Expectations Index stood above 100, which indicates a positive outlook for business conditions in the coming months.

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

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