Foodservice Equipment Reports

NRA Performance Index Shows Continued Expansion

In spite of the bite of rising gasoline and food prices, the restaurant industry continued to expand in April, according to the latest Restaurant Performance Index data from the National Restaurant Association. The overall index fell only slightly to 100.9, essentially unchanged from the 100.1 reading in March. Any reading above 100 indicates expansion versus contraction. Still six of the eight components of the index fell during the month. One of the capital expenditure indicators rose sharply, while the second fell.

The Current Situation Index eked out a slight 0.1 point gain on the strength of a big 1.7 point jump in the marker tracking capital expenditures during the past three months. Of those surveyed, 48% said they made a capital purchase, the highest level in three years. The current same-store sales indicator fell 0.2 point while the traffic marker dropped a full point.

The Expectations Index fell half a point as the indicators for future same-store sales, staffing and capital spending all fell. The measure tracking plans to purchase equipment or improve facilities was off 0.8 point; 49% of those surveyed plan such purchases, down from 53% in March. Those surveyed do expect overall business conditions to improve during the next six months.

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