Foodservice Equipment Reports

NRA Performance Index Holds Steady In June

Like most Americans, the drumbeat of negative economic and political news is having an effect on operators’ outlook for the rest of the year and into 2013.

An improvement in current conditions offset a drop in expectations in the June survey of restaurant operators for the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index. The index remained at 101.4, well above the 100 level that signals the difference between expansion and contraction; it’s the eighth consecutive month the index has stood above 100.

All four of the Current Situation Index indicators were positive, while all four of the Expectations Index markers fell. The measure of operators’ capital spending activity for the past three months rose while that for future purchases for the next six months moved lower.

Increased same-store sales and traffic drove the 0.7 point gains in the Current Situation Index, up 0.5 point and 1.8 points respectively. The current labor indicator rose 0.2 point.

In the Expectations Index, which was off 0.7 point, operators’ outlook for business conditions during the next six months fell a full point, that for future same-store sales fell 0.3 point and the future staffing market declined 0.5 point.

The indicator tracking operators that made a capital purchase during the past three months rose 0.4 point to 99.5, with 48% of those polled saying they made such a purchase, up from 46% in May. But those planning capital spending in the next six months fell to 51%, down from 55% in May, moving the indicator tracking such intentions down 0.9 point to 100.1.