The National Restaurant Association's Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) stood at 102.7 for July, up .7% from June, the first gain in three months. The RPI is a monthly composite that examines the health of the U.S. restaurant industry based on two components: the current situation index and the expectations index. The industry is measured against a steady-state level of 100, such that anything above that indicates expansion. July was the 29th consecutive month in which the RPI was above 100. The current situation index measures same-store sales, traffic, labor and capital expenditures. A majority of restaurant operators experienced higher same-store sales in July, the 17th consecutive month of gains and the strongest performance since April. Between July 2014 and July 2015, 73% of restaurant operators reported higher same-store sales compared with 64% who reported gains between June 2014 and June 2015. Sixteen percent said they experienced a decline. And 59% reported higher traffic between July 2014 and July 2015, up from 47% in June. Twenty-three percent said they saw a drop. The expectations index, which looks ahead six months based on the same criteria as the current situation index, found that 40% of restaurant operators expect to have higher sales in the near future. And only 16% expect economic conditions to improve. The current situation index stands at 103.7 and the expectations index is at 101.7. The National Restaurant Association is a business association comprised of one million restaurant and food service companies.
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