WASHINGTON, Jan. 2, 2014 — The National Restaurant Association’s (NRA) Restaurant Performance Index (RPI), the monthly composite index that tracks the health of the U.S. restaurant industry, hit a five-month high in November due to improved sales and customer traffic over the past year.
“Recent growth in the RPI was fueled in large part by improving same-store sales and customer traffic levels,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the NRA. “In addition, restaurant operators are somewhat more confident that sales levels will improve, and a majority plan to make a capital expenditure in the next six months.”
According to the RPI, 57 percent of restaurant operators reported a same-store sales gain between November 2012 and November 2013, up from 54 percent in October and the highest level in six months. In addition, 47 percent of restaurant operators reported higher customer traffic growth between November 2012 and November 2013, up from 43 percent who reported a traffic gain in October.
Additionally, restaurant operators continued to report positive capital spending levels, with 54 percent of operators reporting capital expenditure for equipment, expansion or remodeling during the last three months.
NRA reported that restaurant operators are generally positive about sales expectations in the months ahead but are less optimistic about the direction of the economy. Despite an uncertain economic outlook, a majority of restaurant operators are planning for capital expenditures in the coming months.
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