As consumer spending shrinks, research about the restaurant market in the U.S. found that growth of restaurant units stopped in 2008 and openings were compensated with closures, according to NPD Group today.

The result was compared to a unit growth rise of 2 percent in 2007.

Forecasts say the market will see more shutting of restaurants in 2009.

We would not be surprised to see a greater than average number of closings in 2009, especially following the holiday season, Robert W. Baird analyst David Tarantino said, according to Reuters.

The research found that fast-food restaurants performed better in the industry during 2008, including the ones that offered menus with $1 items.

Those were followed by family dining units like Denny's Corp., then casual dining chains like Cheesecake factory Inc. and last by fine -dining restaurants like upscale steakhouse owner Ruth's Hospitality Group , Reuters reported.