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National Restaurant Association - Industry outlook positive despite January RPI dip

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Industry outlook positive despite January RPI dip

The outlook for the restaurant industry is positive for the coming months, as the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) remained well above 100 in January. 

RPI_Jan2012.jpgThe RPI stood at 101.3 in January, down from December’s strong level of 102.2.  Despite the decline, January represented the third consecutive month that the RPI stood above 100, which signifies expansion in the index of key industry indicators.

“Although the Restaurant Performance Index dipped somewhat from December’s nearly six-year high, it remained solidly in positive territory,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the Association.

“Restaurant operators reported positive same-store sales for the eighth consecutive month, and a majority of them expect business to continue to improve in the months ahead,” 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 100.6 in January – down 1.5 percent from December’s seven-year high of 102.1., but remaining above 100 for the third consecutive month, which signifies expansion in the current situation indicators. 

Fifty-six percent of restaurant operators reported a same-store sales gain between January 2011 and January 2012, while only 26 percent reported a same-store sales decline. In addition, 46 percent of restaurant operators reported higher customer traffic levels during the same period.

The Expectations Index stood at 102.1 in January – essentially unchanged from December’s level of 102.3 - marking the fifth consecutive month that the Expectations Index stood above 100, which represents an optimistic outlook among restaurant operators for business conditions in the months ahead.      

For additional details, see our news release, full RPI report, and subscription-based Restaurant Trendmapper.

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