Restaurant Performance Index at 13-Month Low in August
Oct 5, 2011
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The Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) declined for the second consecutive month in August, with indexes of current and future capital spending (including on new foodservice appliances) little changed from August, according to the National Restaurant Association.

Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the Association, noted that restaurants still did far better in August 2011 than they were doing in 2008-2009. "Overall, the near-term health of the restaurant industry will depend heavily on the economy’s ability to create jobs and bolster consumer confidence,” Riehle said.

Restaurant operators reported relatively steady capital spending in August:
• 44% of operators made a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion, or remodeling in the last three months (43% in July)

Restaurant operators are more optimistic about capital spending:
• 44% plan to make a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion, or remodeling in the next six months (up from 42% in July)

The overall RPI, a composite index tracking the U.S. restaurant industry, was 99.4 in August, was down 0.3% from July. August was the second consecutive month with an RPI below 100 - above 100 signifies expansion in key indicators.

“The August decline in the Restaurant Performance Index resulted from softening of both current situation and expectations indicators, as well as Hurricane Irene,” said Riehle. “Although restaurant operators reported net positive same-store sales results in August, their six-month outlook for both sales growth and the economy continued to deteriorate."

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