Spending on Commercial Appliances Strong and Expected to Stay Strong
Jun 6, 2014
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Positive trends in restaurant sales and customer traffic in April 2014 spurred restaurant operators' increasing capital expenditures; that is, spending on commercial appliances and other restaurant equipment, as well as expansion or remodeling, according to the National Restaurant Association. The organization's data for April showed that 56% of operators said they made a capital expenditure in the last three months, which is up from 49% in the previous month's report.

For the eighth consecutive month, most restaurant operators are planning for capital expenditures in the coming months. 60% of restaurant operators plan to make a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion, or remodeling in the next six months, up from 58% who said so in the previous month's report.

The RPI—the monthly composite index tracking the overall health of the United States' restaurant industry—stood at 101.7 in April 2014, up 0.3% from March and the highest level for the index since May 2013. The RPI was above 100 for the 14th month in a row, indicating expansion.

"The recent rise in the RPI was fueled by improvements in same-store sales and customer traffic, which are back on a positive trajectory after the winter soft patch,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the Association. “In addition, restaurant operators have an optimistic outlook for business conditions in the months ahead, which is reflected by the expectations component of the RPI rising to its highest level in two years.”

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