Foodservice Equipment Reports

Strong Gains In Capital Spending Markers, Current Sales And Traffic Drive NRA’s RPI Higher

The National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index jumped back to its highest level since 2004, reaching 102.9 in the December 2014 survey. The RPI hit 102.8 in October, its highest level since December 2004 and easily a post-recession high, before falling back slightly in November to 102.1. Strong gains in the survey’s two capital-spending indicators and rebounds of same-store sales and traffic were the key factors. It was the 22nd consecutive month the RPI has stood above 100, which demarcates industry expansion.

The Current Situation Index was up 1.5 points, as all four components rose in the December survey. The current same-store sales and traffic indicators rose 1.6 and 2.3 points respectively. The labor component, which tracks employee head counts and hours, rose 0.7 point. And the marker that tracks capital spending during the past three months was up a strong 1.3 points to 102; 60% of operators reported making a capital buy during the three-month period.

The Expectations Index, on the other hand, rose only 0.1 point, although all components remained at very high levels. The six-month outlook for same-store sales and business conditions were off 0.3 point each, but stand at 104.7 and 103 respectively. The outlook for staffing was off a mere 0.1 point to 101.5. The indicator that tracks capital spending plans over the next six months, on the other hand, jumped a full point to 102.4, as 62% of those surveyed reported they planned a purchase.

The full RPI is available at restaurant.org.