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National Restaurant Association - RPI remains elevated in January

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RPI remains elevated in January

Buoyed by higher same-store sales and traffic and a positive outlook among operators, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) remained elevated in January. The RPI stood at 102.7 in the first month of the year, representing the fourth consecutive month above the level of 102.

In addition, January marked the 23rd consecutive month in which the RPI stood above 100, which signifies expansion in the index of key industry indicators.

“A solid majority of restaurant operators reported higher same-store sales and customer traffic in January, which helped keep the RPI well into positive territory,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the Association. “In addition, nearly six in 10 operators expect their business to improve in the next six months, with plans for capital expenditures also continuing at a high level.”

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 102.7 in January – down slightly from a level of 102.9 in December. Despite the modest dip, it stood above 100 for the 11th consecutive month, with a majority of restaurant operators reporting positive same-store sales and traffic. 

Along with positive sales and customer traffic trends, restaurant operators continue to make capital expenditures; 51 percent of operators reported making a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion or remodeling during the last three months. Fifty-seven percent also plan to make one in the next six months. 

The Expectations Index stood at 102.8 in January – essentially unchanged from the previous two months. In addition, January represented the 27th consecutive month in which it stood above 100, which indicates restaurant operators remain optimistic about business conditions in the months ahead.

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

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