Foodservice Equipment Reports

NRA’s RPI Rose In November; Cap-Ex Measures Remain Positive

Though current same-store sales and customer traffic remained soft, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index rose slightly to 100.7 in November, up from 100.5 in October, as operators have become increasingly optimistic about future business conditions and sales prospects post-election. The two capital spending indicators moved in opposite directions, but remained very positive. The RPI is designed so that any reading above 100 signals expansion.

Both the Current Situation and Expectations Indexes moved 0.2 point higher. The CSI rose to 99.7—it has been in contraction territory three of the past four months—as the same-store sales marker ticked up 0.4 point and the indicators tracking operators who made a capital spending buy in the past three months rose half a point to a very robust 102.8. The labor indicator was flat and the customer traffic measure fell 0.3 point to a weak 97.4.

In the Expectations Index, the outlook for business conditions in six months rose a full point to 102.8, its highest level since December 2014. The indicator had been negative for 11 months through September. The outlook for same-store sales in six months sagged slightly to 101.4, and the labor marker rose 0.3 point to 108.8. The outlook for capital spending during the next six months softened 0.2 point, but remained quite positive at 101.5.

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