Consumer spending at restaurants is expected to continue to climb through January, as intent to spend continued its four-month increase, according to Kurt Salmon’s Restaurant Spending Trajectory.

Restaurant spending (measured in real dollars) reached another new all-time high in October, after record-breaking sales the month before. Consumer spending is rising faster than consumer intent to spend, suggesting not only improved confidence, but also that people are systematically reestablishing eating out as part of their lifestyles and routines.

“In spite of everything in the headlines, consumers are spending again this holiday season—across all categories,” said restaurant strategist Todd Hooper. “Restaurants will benefit as Americans eat out during their shopping expeditions and find time to celebrate the season at their favorite restaurants.”

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5 December 2011