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National Restaurant Association - RPI remains positive despite decline in May

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RPI remains positive despite decline in May

Although same-stores sales and customer traffic levels softened somewhat in May, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) remained in positive territory. 

The RPI stood at 102.3 in May, down 0.4 percent from a level of 102.7 in April.  Despite the decline, May represented the 27th consecutive month in which the RPI stood above 100, which signifies expansion in the index of key industry indicators.

“The outlook for the restaurant industry remains positive, as the RPI stood above the 102 level for the eighth consecutive month,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the Association.  “A majority of restaurant operators reported higher same-store sales in May, while operators also remain generally optimistic about an improving business environment in the months ahead.”

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 102.6 in May – down 0.2 percent from April.  However, the it stood above 100 for the 15th consecutive month, which signifies expansion in the current situation indicators. For the 15th consecutive month, a majority of restaurant operators reported higher same-store sales, though May’s results were somewhat softer than April. Restaurant operators also reported softer customer traffic results in May.

In addition, 60 percent of operators said they made a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion or remodeling during the last three months, and 54 percent plan to make such an expenditure in the next six months.

The Expectations Index stood at 102.0 in May – down 0.5 percent from a level of 102.5 in April. Despite the decline, May represented the 31st consecutive month above 100, which indicates a positive outlook for 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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