Restaurant sales are trending higher

Restaurant sales posted a solid gain for the second consecutive month, according to preliminary figures from the U.S. Census Bureau. Eating and drinking place sales totaled $66.5 billion in January on a seasonally-adjusted basis, which was up 1.2 percent from December’s volume of $65.8 billion.

January’s healthy gain followed a similar increase in December, and propelled restaurant sales to their highest monthly volume on record.

As a result of the recent gains, restaurant sales stood 7.4 percent above their year-ago level. In comparison, grocery store sales rose 2.5 percent during the last 12 months, while overall retail sales were up 4.4 percent.

Track more economic indicators and read more analysis and commentary from the Association's chief economist Bruce Grindy.