Restaurant Performance Index at 10-Month High
Jun 7, 2013
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Restaurant operators in April 2013 slightly decreased their capital spending on commercial appliances and equipment as well as expansion/remodeling, according to the National Restaurant Association's Restaurant Performance Index.

RPI data showed that 47% of operators report making a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion or remodeling in the previous three months, down from 51% who said so in the previous month's report.

Restaurant operators, however, are increasing their plans for reported an uptick in plans for capital spending in the near future. Report data showed 59% plan on capital expenditures in the next six months, up from 55% who said so in the previous month's report.

The decrease in current capital expenditures came despite a strong month. April same-store sales were higher and restaurant operators expressed an improving outlook. This pushed the index reading to a 10-month high in April. The index was at 101.0, up 0.4% from 100.6 in March.

It was the third month out of the last four with an RPI above 100, the mark that signifies growth in the index of industry indicators.

"Growth in the Restaurant Performance Index was due largely to restaurant operators' healthier outlook for the business environment in the coming months," said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the Association. "In particular, there was a dropoff in the proportion of operators who expect conditions to worsen in the months ahead, which suggests a broadening of the perspective that the expansion is firmly entrenched."

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