CHICAGO The number of U.S. restaurants fell this past fall as the industry continued to suffer from serious declines in traffic and sales. The rate of closures, however, was less than what was reported last spring. According to The NPD Group's ReCount data released Wednesday, the total number of U.S. restaurants declined 0.3 percent, or by 1,652 restaurants, to 578,353 locations in the fall of 2009, compared with the fall of 2008. ReCount tracks commercial restaurant locations twice a year, ...

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