The National Restaurant Association's (NRA) comprehensive index of restaurant activity -- the Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) -- hit a 14-month high in May. The index improved 0.9 to stand at 101.8 in May -- the third straight monthly gain to signify expansion in the industry. This is a good sign for meat demand, as the restaurant industry is a key component for the livestock industry.
"Growth in the Restaurant Performance Index was due largely to restaurant operators’ healthier outlook for the business environment in the coming months," said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the Association. "In particular, there was a dropoff in the proportion of operators who expect conditions to worsen in the months ahead, which suggests a broadening of the perspective that the expansion is firmly entrenched."
Earlier this week the Conference Board reported the Consumer Confidence Index rose in June to 81.4, up from 74.3 in May. The index reached its highest level since June 2008 as consumers have a more positive outlook toward the economy.