Foodservice Equipment Reports

NRA Performance Index Hit Highest Point Since 2006

It may just be the mild winter, but “wow” is all one can say about the big jump of the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index in December. The overall RPI jumped 1.6 points to hit 102.2, its highest level since March 2006. It was the third month in the last four that the RPI stood above 100, the value that separates expansion from contraction. All eight components recorded robust increases led by current same-store sales and customer traffic and expectations for future business conditions. Both capital expenditure indicators also rose strongly.

The Current Situation Index was up nearly two points, as the indices for same-store sales and traffic soared. The same-store sales marker jumped a whopping 2.9 points and that for traffic was up 2.6 points. The indexes for both indicators reached levels exceeded only once before, in February ’04. The RPI was launched in June ’02.

The Expectations Index rose 1.3 points as the indicator for business conditions six months out rose 1.8 points and the indicators for future same-store sales and staffing also increased strongly.

The index tracking those that plan to make a capital expenditure during the next six months jumped 1.6 points to 101, its highest level since October ’07; 55% of operators surveyed said they expected to make a capital purchase, up from 47% in the November survey, and the highest percentage in more than four years.

The marker for operators that made a purchase in the past three months rose half a point, as 48% said they bought something, the highest percentage in six months. The current situation cap-ex marker is the only one of the RPI’s eight components that remains below the 100 tipping point, at 99.6.

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