(March 10) The U.S. restaurant industry outlook improved a bit in January, as the National Restaurant Association’s comprehensive index of restaurant activity bounced back from December’s record low.

The Restaurant Performance Index – a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry – stood at 97.4 in January, up 1% from December’s record-low level of 96.4, according to a news release.

However, the index remained below 100 for the 15th consecutive month.