The National Restaurant Association’s performance index moved higher in January, indicating a more optimistic outlook for sales and capital spending.

The Washington, D.C.-based association said in a news release that the Restaurant Performance Index was 100.7 in January, up 0.2% from December’s level.

“Restaurant operators are more optimistic about business conditions in the months ahead, which is also reflected in ramped up plans for capital spending,” Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the Association, said in the release. “However, current situation indicators such as customer traffic were dampened in January, due in large part to adverse weather conditions.”

The index, tracking the health and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry, remained above 100 for the 11th straight month, according to the release. A score above 100 reflects sentiment by industry operators that business is expanding.

In the NRA survey, restaurant operators reported net positive same-store sales for the 11th consecutive month in January, with 45% of operators reporting same-store gains while 40% indicated lower same-store sales.

According to the release, 57% of operators said they made a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion or remodeling during the last three months. That’s the ninth consecutive month in which a majority of operators reported making expenditures.

The NRA said 41% of restaurant operators expect to have higher sales in six month compared to the same period a year ago.

The full report and video summary are at