Intent to spend continued to inch upward for the fifth straight month, signaling that restaurant spending may remain strong in the new year, according to Kurt Salmon’s Restaurant Spending Trajectory.

November spending fell slightly from an all-time high in October, but remained well above pre-recession levels. In addition to continued growth in consumer intent to spend, consumer confidence also hit a six-month high in December.

“Although there may be an occasional dip, we expect restaurant spending overall to remain strong in the first few months of the new year,” said restaurant strategist Todd Hooper. “As we saw with holiday spending in the retail sector, consumers are putting aside some of their economic concerns and spending again.”

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4 January 2012