Here is a minor indicator I follow from the National Restaurant Association: RPI drops in May
Due in large part to softer same-store sales and customer traffic results, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) declined in May. The RPI stood at 100.6 in May, down 0.9 percent from a level of 101.6 in April.
“The RPI continued along a choppy trend line in May, with the index bouncing between moderate gains and losses in recent months,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of research for the National Restaurant Association.
“Much of the May dip came from declines in the same-store sales and customer traffic indicators, which softened from their stronger April performance. In addition, operators’ expectations for future business conditions are at the lowest level in three and a half years,” he said.
The index decreased to 100.6 in May, down from 101.6 in April. (above 100 indicates expansion).
Restaurant spending is discretionary, so even though this is “D-list” data, I like to check it every month.