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Restaurant Operators Show Stronger Sales But Less Capital Spending
Oct 8, 2012
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Restaurant operators saw stronger same-store sales and customer traffic levels in August 2012, according to the National Restaurant Association's Restaurant Performance Index, but still spent less on commercial foodservice equipment and other capital spending.

The RPI showed a modest gain in August. This composite index tracking the U.S. restaurant industry was 100.6 in August, up 0.4% from July. It was the tenth month that the index showed expansion (an RPI above 100) but was the first increase in five months.

Restaurants had better sales and customer traffic in August, as reported in the RPI's Current Situation Index. The Current Situation Index in August 2012 was 100.6, up from July's 99.8. July was the first time in nine months that the Current Situation Index was below 100.

Despite the increase in the Current Situation Index, only 41% of restaurant operators reported making a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion, or remodeling in the previous three months. This index component was at 46% in the previous month's report.

The Expectations Index measures operators' six-month outlook for four industry indicators, including capital expenditures. The Expectations Index was at 100.7 in August 2012, unchanged from July.

Despite the unchanged Expectation Index, restaurant operators' expectations of capital spending was down: 44% of restaurant operators plan to make a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion, or remodeling in the coming six months. The previous month's report had this share at 49%.

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