Americans can expect a pricey Thanksgiving this year, due to severe inflation and shortages that have begun to cripple the wallets of people already struggling to make ends meet in the current economy.
A recent New York Times report found that “Thanksgiving 2021 is shaping up to be the most expensive meal in the history of the holiday.”
The issue won’t just affect food items, but also materials that are commonly used in Americans’ Thanksgiving preparation.
In August, The Wall Street Journal reported the cost of aluminum had skyrocketed, “reaching 10-year highs” due to shortages and delays in shipping. At the time, The Journal noted that there was plenty of aluminum for the world to use, but it was stuck in Asia. American and European buyers couldn’t get access to it due to issues at ports like container shortages and massive amounts of orders.
Agricultural economics experts, heads of groceries, and farmers are saying that almost everything that goes into a typical American Thanksgiving feast will be more expensive in 2021.
A recent October U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics report revealed:
For the year ended September 2021, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers increased 5.4 percent. Over that period, prices for food at home increased 4.5 percent, driven by a 10.5-percent increase in prices for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs. Prices for food away from home increased 4.7 percent.
The Consumer Price Index showed that from last September 2020 to this September, “prices increased for cereals and bakery products (+2.7 percent), fruits and vegetables (+3.0 percent), and nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials (+3.7 percent). Prices for dairy and related products increased 0.6 percent.”
Turkey will also likely be more expensive this year with some reports showing that fresh turkey production is set to be down 1.4%, an effect some attribute to the high price of corn to feed the animals.
A USDA report from last week showed that the price of frozen turkeys was already up from last year. The price of fresh birds is also up.
As The New York Times reported:
Packaged dinner rolls will be pricier because the cost of almost all of the ingredients that commercial bakers use has gone up. Canned cranberry sauce will cost more because domestic steel plants have yet to catch up after pandemic shutdowns, and China is limiting steel production to reduce carbon emissions. As a result, steel prices have remained more than 200 percent higher than they were before the pandemic.
Inflation has severely impacted
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