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National Restaurant Association - Softer customer traffic levels behind RPI decline

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Softer customer traffic levels behind RPI decline

Due in large part to softer customer traffic levels, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) registered a moderate decline. 

The RPI stood at 101.3 in June, down from a level of 102.1 in May and the first decline in four months.  Despite the drop, the RPI remained above 100 for the 16th consecutive month, which signifies expansion in the index of key industry indicators. 

“Although overall same-store sales remained positive in June, the RPI dipped as a result of softer customer traffic levels,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the National Restaurant Association. 

“Looking forward, restaurant operators are generally optimistic about sales growth in the months ahead, and their outlook for capital spending remains near post-recession highs,” 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 100.9 in June – down 1.1 percent from May and the first decline in four months.  Despite the drop, it stood above 100 for the fourth consecutive month. A majority of restaurant operators reported higher same-store sales in June, though overall results were softer than they were in May. Operators also reported softer customer traffic results, but capital spending activity remained solid.

The Expectations Index stood at 101.7 in June – down from levels of 102.2 in both April and May.  However, June represented the 20th consecutive month above 100, which indicates a generally optimistic outlook among operators. For the tenth consecutive month, a majority of restaurant operators are also planning for capital expenditures.

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

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