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National Restaurant Association - RPI at lowest level in 11 months due to dampened optimism

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RPI at lowest level in 11 months due to dampened optimism

As a result of softer same-store sales and traffic levels and a dampened outlook among restaurant operators, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) fell below 100 in July. 

RPI_July2011.jpgThe RPI – a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry – stood at 99.7 in July, down from 100.6 in June and the lowest level in 11 months. 

“Although same-store sales and customer traffic levels remained positive in July, restaurant operators’ outlook for the economy took a pessimistic turn,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the Association.  “This survey month was burdened with the debt ceiling crisis and the downgrade in the nation’s credit rating, which added an additional layer of uncertainty in an already fragile economic recovery.”

“However, if the economy can avoid additional negative shocks in the months ahead, the overall fundamentals continue to point toward growth in the second half of the year,” Riehle added.

The Restaurant Performance Index 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 99.8 in July – down 0.7 percent from June’s level of 100.5.  Although same-store sales and customer traffic remained positive in July, the softness in the labor and capital spending indicators outweighed their performances, which led to a Current Situation Index reading below 100 for the second time in the last three months. 

The Expectations Index stood at 99.6 in July – down 1.1 percent from June’s level of 100.7.  In addition, July represented the first time in 20 months that the Expectations Index fell below 100, which indicates a softening in operators’ outlook for the months ahead.      

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

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