Last updated on September 2nd, 2015 at 03:11 pm
Driven by stronger same-store sales and customer traffic levels, the National Restaurant Association’s (NRA) Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) posted a solid gain in July, the first increase in three months. The RPI stood at 102.7 in July, up 0.7 percent from June. In addition, July represented the 29th consecutive month in which the RPI stood above 100, which signifies expansion in the index of industry indicators.
“July’s RPI gain was fueled primarily by an improvement in the current situation indicators,” said Hudson Riehle, SVP of research and knowledge for the NRA. “Although a solid majority of operators reported higher same-store sales and customer traffic levels in July, their outlook for both sales growth and the economy is more cautious compared to recent months.”
Restaurant operators are less bullish about the direction of the overall economy. Only 16 percent of restaurant operators said they expect economic conditions to improve in six months, while 21 percent expect conditions to worsen. This marked the second consecutive month with a net negative outlook.
Despite the dampened outlook, a majority of restaurant operators said they are planning for capital expenditures in the months ahead. Sixty-six percent of restaurant operators plan to make a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion or remodeling in the next six months, up from 59 percent who reported similarly last month.