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Restaurant Index, and Commercial Appliance Purchasing Plans, Remain Strong
Jul 3, 2014
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Driven mainly by stronger sales and traffic levels, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index rose to its highest level in more than two years in May 2014.

Restaurant operators continued the recent positive spending trends on commercial appliances. 53% of operators reported making a capital expenditure—for commercial appliances/foodservice equipment, expansion, or remodeling—in the last three months. This is down from April's 56%.

Future capital spending also looks good, according to the report for the month of May 2014. For the ninth consecutive month a majority of restaurant operators were planning for capital expenditures in the months to come. In fact, 62% of restaurant operators plan to make a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion, or remodeling in the next six months, which is up from 60% in the previous month's report.

The overall RPI stood at 102.1 in May 2014—the third month of gains, and that puts the index at its highest level since March 2012. The RPI in May 2014 was above 100—signifying expansion—for the 15th month running.

“Positive sales results fueled the May increase in the RPI, as nearly two-thirds of restaurant operators said their same-store sales rose above year-ago levels,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the Association. “In addition, restaurant operators are increasingly optimistic about continued sales gains in the months ahead, a sentiment that is also showing up in their capital expenditure plans."

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