Restaurant industry is booming

WASHINGTON — One part of the economy is enjoying a surprising boom, and it should prove useful in combating the recent slowdown: Americans are spending more while eating out than ever before.

The restaurant industry, long a reliable indicator of the underlying economy, has become an economic standout at a time of financial market turmoil and global uncertainty.

Sales at food service and drinking places jumped nearly 8 percent last year from 2014, more than double the pace of growth for total retail sales.

Employment at restaurants and watering holes grew at nearly twice the rate of all other sectors combined over the past five years. Last month, eating and drinking places created 47,000 jobs, more than what manufacturers added all last year, according to the Labor Department. read more –

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