The National Restaurant Association has reported a “positive outlook” for the industry, based on its Performance Index (RPI) for in April. The RPI is a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry. It stood at 101.6 in April, down 0.6 percent from the strong level of 102.2 registered in March. Despite the decline, April represented the sixth consecutive month that the RPI stood above 100, which the group says signifies expansion in the index of key industry indicators.
“Although the Restaurant Performance Index dipped somewhat in April, it remained solidly in positive territory,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the Association. “Restaurant operators reported positive same-store sales for the 11th consecutive month, and a majority of them expect business to continue to improve in the months ahead.”
For the fifth consecutive month, a majority of restaurant operators expect their sales to be higher in the months ahead. Restaurant operators also remain generally optimistic about the direction of the overall economy. Thirty-four percent of restaurant operators said they expect economic conditions to improve in six months, down slightly from 38 percent last month.
Along with a positive outlook for sales and the economy, restaurant operators also continue to plan for capital spending in the months ahead. Fifty-two percent of restaurant operators plan to make a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion or remodeling in the next six months.
The RPI is based on the responses to the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Industry Tracking Survey, which is fielded monthly among restaurant operators nationwide on a variety of indicators including sales, traffic, labor, and capital expenditures. The full report and a video summary are available online.