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FE&SFlashNews — 2004-11-29 — News

November 29, 2004

NRA Index Rises In October

The National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index increased by 0.9% in October to 103.8.

The increase brings the RPI to its highest level in five months and reflects improvements in all eight categories that it measured.

Based on a survey of foodservice operators, the RPI offers a monthly report on the current health of and future outlook for the U.S. foodservice industry. It is divided into two main portions (each with four categories): the Current Situation Index and the Expectations Index.

The Current Situation Index increased by 1% from September to October. The most significant driver of this growth was operators’customer traffic reports for October. Approximately 45% of the survey’s respondents reported higher customer traffic in October 2004 vs. the same period a year earlier, up from 40% in September. Meanwhile, the percentage of operators reporting lower period-over-period traffic fell to 31% in October from 36% in September.

Not surprisingly, surveyed operators’same-store sales results reflected this improvement in customer traffic, with 55% of respondents reporting higher same-store sales than the year-ago period, compared to 53% in September.

The second portion of the RPI, the Expectations Index, grew by 0.9% in October. Fueling the growth was operators’reported capital expenditure plans for the next six months. According to the study, 65% of operators plan to make a capital expenditure on equipment, expansion or remodeling in the next half-year, up from the 59% who reported the same intentions in the previous index.

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