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Restaurant Economic Snapshot

Restaurant Economic Snapshot

See how the industry is performing with these reports compiled by the National Restaurant Association.

Restaurant Performance Index

The National Restaurant Association's Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) is a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and the outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry. Launched in 2002, the RPI is released on the last business day of each month.

Latest RPI (released September 28, 2018)

Driven by stronger same-store sales and customer traffic levels, the Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) registered a healthy gain in August. The RPI stood at 102.0 in August, up 1.0 percent from a level of 101.1 in July.

The Current Situation Index stood at 102.3 in August - up 1.6 percent from July and the highest level since December. August represented the seventh consecutive month in which the Current Situation Index stood above the 100 level in expansion territory.

The Expectations Index stood at 101.7 in August – up 0.4 percent from a level of 101.4 in July. The Expectations Index trended sideways for the last several months, after retreating from a nearly three-year high in December.

Read the full RPI report

RPI Methodology

The RPI is measured in relation to a neutral 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. The Index consists of two components – the Current Situation Index, which measures current trends in four industry indicators (same-store sales, traffic, labor and capital expenditures), and the Expectations Index, which measures restaurant operators’ six-month outlook for four industry indicators (same-store sales, employees, capital expenditures and business conditions).

The RPI is based on the responses to the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Industry Tracking Survey, which is fielded monthly among more than 400 restaurant operators nationwide on a variety of indicators including sales, traffic, labor and capital expenditures. 

A monthly summary of key indicators

This at-a-glance flyer provides an overview of key economic indicators, including the Restaurant Performance Index, monthly sales, employment, wholesale food and menu prices, and the economy.

Source: National Restaurant Association