CHICAGO – Preliminary US Census figures show restaurant sales volume slightly declined in June, but the industry remains poised for growth, the National Restaurant Association (NRA) reported.

Eating and drinking place sales totaled $46.8 billion on a seasonally-adjusted basis in June, down from May’s record-high of $47 billion, but up more than $100 million from the previous sales volume peak in March. Restaurant sales have reached nearly $278.6 billion in the first six months of 2014, according to the preliminary data.

“The recent strong sales performance may be tied to general improvements in the economy and consumer confidence, as well as the relief from the colder-than-normal spring weather experienced in many parts of the country,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of research for the National Restaurant Association.

“Despite the decline, restaurant industry sales volume in June is the second-highest on record after May, indicating that the industry remains on track for growth in the second half of 2014,” he added.

Restaurant sales advanced in eight of the last 12 months, with the highest increases occurring in October and November 2013 (1.6 percent) and March 2014 (1.7) percent.