Spending Hits Record High at US Restaurants

US restaurant spending hit a record high in July, bringing a three-month annualized gain of 25.3 percent—a figure last seen in 1992. Economists say Americans are feeling comfortable with the economy and their personal financial situations, stating that restaurants account for 30 percent of the July increase in retail sales. One possible explanation is that Americans are spending their extra cash from tax cuts. Restaurant companies have also recently increased menu prices because of higher minimum wages and rent costs. Last month, McDonald’s reported a gain in same-store sales but a decrease in customer traffic, suggesting fewer customers are dining but are spending more. (Bloomberg, 8.15.18)