Foodservice Equipment Reports

NRA’s Performance Index Pops Back Into The Black

Buoyed by strong improvements in same-store sales and traffic in March, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index moved back in positive territory in the March report, released April 30. The overall Index stood at 100.6, after dipping just below the 100 level that separates expansion from contraction in February. The Index now has been positive for two of the three months in 2013, following a period of negative movement in the fourth quarter last year. The capital spending indicators in the Index also are now both in positive territory.

The same-store sales indicator in the Current Situation Index rose 2.3 points to 100.7 while the traffic marker was up 2.2 points, but remains below the tipping point at 99.2. All four of the Current Situation indicators rose, moving that index 1.5 points higher to 99.8.

The Expectations Index was flat at 101.4, as the component for the staffing outlook fell 0.7 point and that for capital spending plans was off slightly. Both the outlook for same-store sales and business conditions over the next six months rose.

The marker tracking operators that made a capital buy for equipment or facilities in the past three months was up half a point, moving the indicator back into positive territory at 100.1. The indicator had fallen below the 100 level after hitting 100.3 in January. Fifty-one percent of operators reported they made a capital buy in March, up from 48% in February. Future capital spending intentions again fell slightly, down 0.3 point, after spiking in January and falling 0.4 point in February. But the indicator remains at 101.1, well into positive territory; 55% of operators said they plan to spend for equipment and facilities during the next six months, down from 58% in February.

The complete Restaurant Performance Index is available at restaurant.org.

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