WASHINGTON — The outlook for the restaurant industry softened somewhat in April, as the National Restaurant Association's comprehensive index of restaurant activity registered its largest decline in eight months.
 
The association's Restaurant Performance Index — a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry — stood at 101.6 in April, down 1 percent from its March level.
 
The NRA said despite the decline, the index remained above 100 for the 34th consecutive month.
 
Although April's performance was much softer than recent months, 48 percent of restaurant operators reported a same-store sales gain between April 2005 and April, marking the 33rd consecutive month of comps gains.

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