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Restaurant Performance Index Hits Four-Month High
Dec 9, 2013
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Restaurant operators in October 2013 were still reporting positive capital spending levels on commercial appliances and foodservice equipment, as well as expansion and remodeling, according to data released in early December by the National Restaurant Association.

In the three months leading up to the October report, 57% of operators made capital expenditures. It was the sixth month in a row in which most operators reported capital expenditures.

While restaurant operators expressed some uncertainty in their six-month outlook, most of them—53%—are still planning for capital expenditures in the months ahead. That is up from 52% who reported such plans in the previous month's report.

Stronger same-store sales and traffic, as well as a higher degree of operators optimism, pushed the association's composite index, the Restaurant Performance Index (RPI), to a four-month high of 100.9 in October. October was up 0.7% over the September RPI and was the index's highest peak since June. The index has been above 100 for eight months, indicating industry expansion.

“The RPI’s October gain was driven by broad-based gains in the index components, most notably solid improvements in same-store sales and customer traffic,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the Association.

“Looking forward, restaurant operators are relatively optimistic about sales growth in the months ahead, though their outlook for the overall economy remains mixed,” Riehle added.

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