The BLS released CPI data for the month of August this morning. In aggregate, all measures continue to screen negatively for the restaurant industry. On the margin, however, August marked a slight improvement in food price trends.
- Core CPI ticked up 10 bps in August to +1.8%
- Food at home remained flat at +1.0%
- Food away from home fell 10 bps to +2.0%
- The Restaurant Value Spread, which measures the difference between food at home and food away from home, fell 10 bps to -1.0%
- The spread between food at home and core CPI widened by 10 bps to -0.8%
- The spread between food away from home and core CPI narrowed by 20 bps to +0.2%
Despite the sequential moves that, on the margin, are positive for the restaurant industry, the overall environment is not exactly conducive to driving consumer demand. The restaurant value spread is still -100 bps, suggesting that it is currently more affordable for consumers to eat at home than to eat out.
The charts below highlight these important food price trends.