Eating Out Less?

One industry that rebounded strongly from the recession was the restaurant business. However, some new data shows that growth might be slowing a bit.

The National Restaurant Association said that its Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) declined slightly during September.

This index tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry.

For September, the RPI showed a slight decline from August’s reading of 101.5. However, anything above 100 indicates growth, and the index has stayed above that magic number for 31 consecutive months.

Overall, the restaurant industry acts as a decent barometer of consumer strength and confidence. When people feel good about their incomes and job security, they eat out more.

But when confidence declines, eating out is one of the first things that people cut back on.

So, this slight decline may prove to be significant. More comprehensive readings of consumer confidence have also dropped a bit in recent months. So has the rate at which the economy is growing.

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