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National Restaurant Association - RPI finishes 2014 on a positive note

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RPI finishes 2014 on a positive note

Driven by positive sales and traffic and an uptick in capital expenditures, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) finished 2014 with a solid gain. 

The RPI stood at 102.9 in December, up 0.8 percent from its November level.  In addition, December marked the 22nd consecutive month in which the RPI stood above 100, which signifies expansion in the index of key industry indicators.

“Growth in the RPI was driven by the current situation indicators in December, with a solid majority of restaurant operators reporting higher same-store sales and customer traffic levels,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the Association.  

"In addition, six in 10 operators reported making a capital expenditure during the fourth quarter, with a similar proportion planning for capital spending in the first half of 2015. Overall, the RPI posted three consecutive months above 102 for the first time since the first quarter of 2006, which puts the industry on a positive track heading into 2015,” 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 102.9 in December – up 1.5 percent from November.  In addition, the Current Situation Index stood above 100 for the 10th consecutive month, which signifies expansion in the current situation indicators.

For the 10th consecutive month, a majority of restaurant operators reported higher same-store sales. Seventy-one percent of restaurant operators reported a same-store sales gain between December 2013 and December 2014, up from 57 percent who reported higher sales in November.

The Expectations Index stood at 102.9 in December – up 0.1 percent from November and the third consecutive monthly gain.  Moreover, December represented the 26th consecutive month in which the Expectations Index stood above 100, which indicates restaurant operators are optimistic that business conditions with continue to improve in the months ahead.  

In addition, 62 percent of restaurant operators plan to make a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion or remodeling in the next six months, up from 57 percent who reported similarly the previous month. Sixty percent of operators also said they made a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion or remodeling during the last three months.

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

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