The outlook for the restaurant industry was positive again in April, as the National Restaurant Association's (NRA) comprehensive index of restaurant activity stood above 100 for the second consecutive month. The NRA's Restaurant Performance Index (RPI)--a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry--was 100.4 in April, nearly unchanged from its March level of 100.5. RPI levels above 100 indicate expansion of key industry indicators.

"Although the sales and traffic indicators softened somewhat from their March performance, restaurant operators remain optimistic that business conditions will improve in the months ahead," said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the NRA's research and knowledge group, in a statement. "In addition, restaurant operators reported a positive outlook for staffing gains, as well as continued plans for capital expenditures in the coming months."

Despite the positive outlook regarding business conditions, restaurant operators reported softer sales results in April after reporting net positive same-store sales in March for the first time in 22 months. Similarly, operators reported a net decline in customer traffic levels in April, after posting positive traffic results in March.

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