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Thanksgiving and Inflation: The Cost of Holidays This Year

Vacation costs, from groceries to travel, have risen and consumers have been willing to pay for them.

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Last year’s Thanksgiving holiday was one of the most expensive ever; this time the prices are higher for everything from the wine at the beginning of the meal to the coffee and cake at the end.

It will also cost more to get to the table: The average domestic airfare for Thanksgiving week travel is up 46 percent from last year, while gasoline is up 6 percent. Even your holiday weekend watch commands a higher price.

But American consumers seem largely unfazed.

Although there are factors that are beyond the control of companies: obstacles in the supply chain; shortage of ingredients; higher labor, fuel, and shipping costs; and, in the case of turkeys and eggs, bird flu—helped raise prices, as did customers’ willingness to pay. Air travel has increased along with airfares. (Inflation was 7.7 percent in October, a slowdown from the previous month but still at a level not seen since the early 1980s.)

The cost of groceries increased 12.4 percent in October, but Walmart, the largest supermarket chain in the US, saw both sales and volume increase in the third quarter. And most American consumers expect to spend more on holiday food, according to a survey by Daymon Worldwide, a private label development company.

Do you plan to host or be hosted this year? Here’s how much more it could cost, compared to last year:

Cubed Bread Filling, 14 oz.:+41%

White potatoes, 1 pound: +15.2%

Fresh Blueberries, 12 oz.: -sixteen%

Fresh vegetables: +8.3%


Streaming services across the board have risen in cost: An Apple TV+ subscription is up 28.6 percent, while Apple Music is up 9 percent.

Sources: Kayak airfare data based on available fares from August 1 to October 1. 25. Data on annual commodity price increases from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Department of Agriculture, and the American Federation of Farm Bureaux, an industry group.

Niraj Chokshi, julie creswell other jordyn holman contributed reporting.



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