May 2, 2005
NRA Index Flat in March
The National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index held steady at 102.1 in March.
The RPI is based on a monthly survey of foodservice operators. It consists of two portions: the Current Situation Index and the Expectations Index. In March the two effectively canceled each other out, with the Current Situation Index increasing by 0.4% and the Expectations Index decreasing by 0.4%.
The increase in the Current Situation Index is attributable in part to a slight improvement in operators’ same-store sales results. Approximately 56% of surveyed operators said their same-store sales increased in March vs. the same period a year ago, up by 2% from February. Conversely, 28% of operators said their same-store sales declined in March, down by 2% from the previous month.
The fall in the Expectations Index, which measures operators’ outlooks on business six months from now, is due primarily to operators’ worsening outlook on the overall economy. The Business Conditions portion of the Expectations Index fell by 1.1% in March vs. February.
Nevertheless, operators’ capital spending plans remain healthy. Approximately 62% of those surveyed said they plan to make an expenditure on equipment, expansion or remodeling in the next six months, virtually flat with last month’s level of 63%.
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