Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Restaurant Index Reaches 6-Year High in December Current Situation Index Is Highest in 7 Years

Washington, D.C. -- "Fueled by solid same-store sales and traffic results and a bullish outlook among restaurant operators, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) rose sharply in December. The RPI – a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry – stood at 102.2 in December, up 1.6 percent from November and its highest level in nearly six years. In addition, December represented the third time in the last four months that the RPI stood above 100, which signifies expansion in the index of key industry indicators.

The Current Situation Index, which measures current trends in four industry indicators (same-store sales, traffic, labor and capital expenditures), stood at 102.1 in December – up a solid 1.9 percent from November and its strongest level in seven years (see chart above).

The Expectations Index, which measures restaurant operators’ six-month outlook for four industry indicators (same-store sales, employees, capital expenditures and business conditions), stood at 102.3 in December – up 1.3 percent from November and its highest level in a year. In addition, December marked the fourth consecutive month that the Expectations Index stood above 100, which represents a positive outlook among restaurant operators for business conditions in the months ahead."

MP: All three indexes: the current situation index, the expectations index, and the overall performance index are now at levels above pre-recession levels, and the current situation is at the highest level in seven years.  The rebound in the performance of America's restaurants in recent months to levels not seen since 2005-2007 shows that there are some underlying strengths in the U.S. economy.  Based on the elevated level for the expectations index, we can expect continued improvements for the restaurant industry in 2012.  

13 Comments:

At 1/31/2012 3:37 PM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

Negative economic news will surely follow, see bad news below:

 
At 1/31/2012 3:44 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Well here you go Professor Mark...

We know that once employed Kaufman Bros people won't be helping out that restuatant index much anymore...

 
At 1/31/2012 3:53 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

as much as i hate to be predictable...

in real terms, same store sales are shrinking. all the growth and then some last years was inflation and is projected to be the same in 2012. the forecast below is for 2-3% growth and 5%ish inflation, though perhaps not all passed along, but CPI component "food away from home" was up 2.9% in 2011, so if that remains the same, then even the high end of the forecast for 2012 is no real growth.

"U.S. restaurant same-store sales growth should average 2% to 3% in 2012, though restaurants will face pressure from continually rising food and beverage costs, Fitch Ratings said.

The rating firm said restaurant food and beverage costs should rise 5% or more for a second year in a row during 2012, though large chains are in a good position to fend of significant margin erosion, thanks to modest same-store sales growth, menu management and reliance on low-cost franchising.

Food inflation pressure will be driven by rising protein prices, as the Department of Agriculture most recently forecast beef and chicken prices in 2012 to rise by 9% and 5%, respectively, following sharp increases for many food items this year, Fitch said. "

http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20111209-709384.html

 
At 1/31/2012 5:55 PM, Blogger doctorbeaman said...

Isn't "indices" the plural of "index"?

 
At 1/31/2012 6:41 PM, Blogger Marko said...

How much of this is due to under-performing restaurants closing over the last few years? Here in Scottsdale there are failed restaurants everywhere. I assume they are left out of same store sales figures, so that might skew the results. This just means that surviving stores are doing better, which could result from few locations serving the same number of people.

 
At 1/31/2012 6:51 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

marko-

that's an interesting point.

i have no idea how to quantify it as an aggregate though.

i have seen some work along similar lines that high unemployment boosts average worker productivity by taking the least productive out of the mix.

i see no reason why restaurant closures would behave any differently, so i suspect you may be into somehting.

 
At 1/31/2012 7:09 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


I have seen some work along similar lines that high unemployment boosts average worker productivity by taking the least productive out of the mix.

For arbitrary and inaccurate values of least productive. The only "productivity" that is gained is fear-driven - due to the large amount of replacements. That is not a very good position.

Reintegrating those people on their own terms would be the better way to handle them.

 
At 1/31/2012 7:21 PM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

Indexes or indices are both acceptable plural versions of index.

 
At 1/31/2012 8:25 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Reintegrating those people on their own terms would be the better way to handle them.

If you want to set your own terms, Sethstorm, start your own business.

Only...oops...it's the customers who set the terms even for your own business. Oh well.

Life on your own terms is a nice fantasy, though.

Keep dreaming. You don't seem to be good at anything else.

 
At 2/01/2012 8:25 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

i see no reason why restaurant closures would behave any differently, so i suspect you may be into somehting.

While I agree I have not seen any data that shows that the rate of restaurant closure is significantly higher now than it was two or three years ago.

 
At 2/01/2012 10:11 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

"For arbitrary and inaccurate values of least productive. The only "productivity" that is gained is fear-driven - due to the large amount of replacements. That is not a very good position."

what absolute nonsense seth.

let's say you are a landscaping company. recession is biting into your business and you are losing customers.

as a result, you have more employees than you need.

if you have one who can mow a lawn in 30 minutes and one who takes 40 minutes to do the same, well, chances are you fire the slower guy.

unemployment rises and so does the average productivity of your employees.

this has ZERO to do with fear or any or the other utter foolishness you are rambling about.

 
At 2/01/2012 12:18 PM, Blogger Marko said...

Good example of creative destruction - the weak are culled in an recession. Hopefully the slow lawn mower guy will find something he is better at.

Seth kinda has a point though (never thought I would say that!) - the faster lawnmower guy might be faster because he is more afraid of losing his job so is trying harder. That being said, I don't think that is bad - people that try harder generally do better, no matter their motivation.

 
At 2/03/2012 12:18 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...

Methinks:


...form a business...

One need not form a business to know the value of balance.


Life on your own terms is a nice fantasy, though.

So you don't like freedom?


Morganovich:

Then what is it with business that would prefer to maintain a state of fear over their employees? The legislative landscape reflects this.

Besides, the 30 minute lawn guy is taking unacceptable shortcuts with equipment and the lawn. The 40 minute lawn person is doing things correctly and does well with that extra time.

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home