Expectations Index up slightly.
The National Restaurant Association's Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) dropped to 100.2 in September, down from 100.5 in August. This represents the fourth consecutive month where the composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry experienced a decline. Still, breaking the 100 barrier indicates expansion in the index of key industry performance indicators.
The Index consists of two components – the Current Situation Index and the Expectations Index.
The Current Situation Index, which measures current trends in four industry indicators (same-store sales, traffic, labor and capital expenditures), stood at 99.9 in September – down 0.7 percent from a level of 100.7 in August. This was the first time in six months the Current Situation Index experienced a decline. Key data points from the Current Situation Index include:
- Forty-one percent of restaurant operators reported a same-store sales gain between September 2012 and September 2013, down from 53 percent in August. Forty percent of operators reported a decline in same-store sales in September, up from 33 percent in August.
- Thirty-three percent of restaurant operators reported higher customer traffic levels between September 2012 and September 2013, down from 45 percent who reported a traffic gain in August. Forty- four percent of operators reported a decline in customer traffic in September, up from 38 percent in August.
- Fifty-seven percent of operators said they made a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion or remodeling during the last three months, the fifth consecutive month in which a majority of operators reported expenditures.
The Expectations Index, which measures restaurant operators' six-month outlook for four industry indicators (same-store sales, employees, capital expenditures and business conditions), stood at 100.5 in September, up slightly from a level of 100.4 in August. Key data points from the expectations index include:
- Thirty-four percent of restaurant operators expect to have higher sales in six months (compared to the same period in the previous year), down slightly from 36 percent last month. Thirteen percent of restaurant operators expect their sales volume in 6 months to be lower than it was during the same period in the previous year, compared to 16 percent last month.
- Only 19 percent of restaurant operators said they expect economic conditions to improve in six months, down from 23 percent last month.
- Fifty-two percent of restaurant operators plan to make a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion or remodeling in the next 6 months, up from 45 percent who reported similarly last month.