Public unlikely to be thankful for Thanksgiving price surge

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Let's talk turkey.

Families across the country will soon say thanks over a Thanksgiving dinner that requires more financial stuffing than it did in 2020 due to the rising inflation gripping the nation.

The cost of putting together a full turkey dinner with all the fixings is 4% to 5% higher than it was in 2020, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.

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“When you go to the grocery store and it feels more expensive, that's because it is,” said Veronica Nigh, senior economist at the bureau.

Food prices rose 3.7% throughout 2021, standing out from a 20-year average of roughly 2.4%, she said.

Multiple factors have come together to increase the cost of Thanksgiving dinner, which stood at roughly $47 in 2020 for a meal serving 10 people or fewer, according to a report .

These include growing transportation costs, labor shortages, and supply-chain disruptions, Nigh said.

“Agriculture is like everybody else — it's impacted by the supply restraints we've seen,” she said.

Roughly 90% of the food costs are related to wages, distribution, and the matter of supply and demand, Nigh added.

The shutdown of processing plants and other disruptions related to the COVID-19 pandemic have kept the nation's supply of meat in cold storage lower than normal.

The public is also spending a more significant amount of time preparing meals at home, which increases the demand for meat, according to the report.

Trends such as these could maintain the elevated cost of food, economists said.

The news surrounding Thanksgiving dinner is not all bad, Nigh said, because the fixings required for the meal will be in plentiful supply.

“You might pay more for it than you want, but you will be able to find it,” she said.

It has been “a very normal production year for turkeys,” Nigh said, citing the Department of Agriculture .

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Available turkeys might be on the larger side, too, as producers fed their birds for a more extended period due to the anticipated spike in demand, CBS News reported.





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