Did the debt crisis keep folks from eating out?

The Restaurant Performance Index, as measured by a big restaurant trade group, fell below 100 in July, which basically means shrinkage in restaurant commerce. The group's economist suggests that uncertainty over the debt negotiations could have kept people from eating out.

“Although same-store sales and customer traffic levels remained positive in July, restaurant operators’ outlook for the economy took a pessimistic turn,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the Association. “This survey month was burdened with the debt ceiling crisis and the downgrade in the nation’s credit rating, which added an additional layer of uncertainty in an already fragile economic recovery.”

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