The National Restaurant Association's (NRA) comprehensive index of restaurant activity -- the Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) -- softened by 0.5% in June, but still remained above the key 100-point benchmark to stand at 101.3. Despite the decline, June represented the fourth consecutive month that the RPI exceeded the 100 level, which signifies expansion in the index of key industry indicators.
"Although the overall RPI dipped somewhat in June, it remained in positive territory as restaurant operators continued to report gains in both sales and customer traffic," said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the Association. "Looking forward, restaurant operators remain generally optimistic about the business environment in the months ahead, with the Expectations Index holding steady at a 12-month high."
The RPI is constructed so that the health of the restaurant industry is measured in relation to a steady-state level of 100. Index values above 100 indicate that key industry indicators are in a period of expansion, while index values below 100 represent a period of contraction for key industry indicators.
Meanwhile, The Conference Board reports its Consumer Confidence Index declined slightly in July to stand at 80.3, down from 82.1 in June. The Conference Board said the decline was precipitated by a weakening in consumers’ economic and job expectations. "However, confidence remains well above the levels of a year ago. Consumers’ assessment of current conditions continues to gain ground and expectations remain in expansionary territory despite the July retreat. Overall, indications are that the economy is strengthening and may even gain some momentum in the months ahead," it states.