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Closeup of a wedding table placesetting, with blank placecard, wine glass, water glass, cutlery etc.

Restaurant sales slowed slightly in June, marking the first decline in monthly sales volume since January, according to preliminary figures from the U.S. Census Bureau released today. Eating-and-drinking-place sales totaled $51.5 billion on a seasonally-adjusted basis last month, slipping 0.2 percent from May’s sales volume. Overall, eating-and-drinking-place sales growth remains on a positive path heading into the second half of the year,” stated the National Restaurant Association. “The nation’s economy continues to show gradual improvement – from the job market to favorable gas prices – that benefits consumer spending in restaurants and elsewhere.” Still some restaurant operators are somewhat less bullish about business conditions in the second half of 2015. For example, recruiting employees is gaining momentum as a top challenge as overall employment is strengthening, and food costs are still elevated despite some recent relief. In comparison, grocery store sales also declined by 0.2 percent in June, and remain below restaurant sales for the seventh consecutive month at $50.5 billion. June’s total retail trade sales were down 0.3 percent from May. Source:; 7-14-2015

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