By Julie Jargon
Restaurant visit growth has completely stalled in the last three months, signaling that consumers, jittery over economic uncertainties, are retrenching.
Visits to fast-food restaurants had been growing at a quarterly clip of 2% since September 2015, but haven’t grown at all in March, April or May, according to as-yet-unpublished data from market research firm NPD Group Inc.
When fast-food growth comes to a halt, “that’s a red flag because it’s been an area of growth and it’s 80% of the industry,” NPD restaurant analyst Bonnie Riggs said.
Restaurants are among the first industries to benefit when consumers are feeling flush, but recent economic indicators may be giving people pause about dining out. Job growth slowed last month, and gas prices are starting to climb again.
Read the full story at the Wall Street Journal.