While the latest government retail spending data shows that while it is slowing down, consumer spending on "eating out" or retail and food service sales, hasn't posted a sharp deterioration, secondary tracking sources beg to differ. A far more accurate tracker of real-time US Restaurant sales, that of the National Restaurant Association's Restaurant performance index, paints a far more disturbing picture.
As the Natl Restaurant Association reports for its latest data, August restaurant sales tumbled in August, sliding to the lowest level since the financial crisis. As the restaurant association reports, due in large part to declines in both same-store sales and customer traffic, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) fell below 100 in August. The RPI – a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry – stood at 99.6 in August, down 1.0 percent from a level of 100.6 in July.