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Restaurant sales growth varies by region

While the National Restaurant Association projects in its 2012 Restaurant Industry Forecast that the U.S. foodservice industry will generate an overall sales increase of 3.5 percent, or $631.8 billion, this year, the trade group noted that growth can vary widely from region to region.

For example, of the nine U.S. Census regions, the West South Central area — Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas — is projected to post nominal restaurant sales gains of 3.9 percent in 2012, the highest rate of regional growth in the United States.

In comparison, the New England region — Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island — is expected to generate the most lackluster sales growth at 2.5 percent.

Although a number of factors can contribute to performance, key influencers of state sales growth include gains in total employment, real disposable personal income and total population, the NRA said.

The following offers a glimpse of how the NRA expects the nine regions to perform in 2012. The National Restaurant Association provides its annual Restaurant Industry Forecast free-of-charge to members. More information can be found at To view the social media version of the association’s press release and partial data, including video and downloadable images, visit


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