In the coming weeks, Americans will beginning gathering in increasing frequency with their friends and loved ones, as we march almost blindly toward the cathartic hangovers of New Year’s Day, after somehow surviving the family and funds stress that have come to represent the commercial side of the holiday.
But first we have to survive Thanksgiving; the human version of the pre-hibernation gluttony that we see around us in the bears and the squirrels.
This year, however, it may not be so gluttonous after all thanks to inflation.
Thanksgiving dinner will be pricier than last year, according to economists, who say it might actually be cheaper to eat out. The cost of a turkey is expected to rise 23% compared to the fourth quarter of 2021, according to a report from Wells Fargo analysts Courtney Schmidt and Brad Rubin. However, the New York Times recently reported turkey prices could double over last year as a result of avian flu outbreaks, drought, and higher costs of feed, fuel, and labor. In the week of Oct. 21, the average retail price for a frozen turkey was $1.99 per pound, up 73% from 2021. And “more limited” supplies mean you won’t necessarily get your pick of the bunch, per Fox Business.
Other staples will also be affected.
The cost of eggs, butter, flour, and fruits and vegetables are already up 32.5%, 25.8%, 17.1%, and 7.3% respectively year over year, according to the report.
The news is a bad omen heading into the holiday season, as consumer spending in the last quarter of the year has been a reliable economic cushion in years past. With less spending, comes a bumpier ride, and if Turkey Day dollars cut into the Christmas cash, things could get very ugly.