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Tuesday, August 9, 2022

This Year’s Thanksgiving Dinner Could Be Most Expensive Ever as Cost of Living Spikes to 30-Year High

There’s no relief in sight from inflation as the Labor Department reports the cost of living just keeps rising.

The Consumer Price Index rose at a higher rate than expected, up 6.2 percent since last October. That’s the highest in more than 30 years.

On top of that, the Producer Price Index, which measures wholesale prices, showed a jump of 8.6 percent from last October. That’s the biggest leap in that category in 11 years.

Soaring gas and auto prices are driving the surge and analysts say inflation will drive up home heating prices this winter from the price of natural gas to the cost of electricity.

With the price of fuels already surging, energy sector experts were alarmed to note that the Biden administration was considering shutting down a pipeline that sends crude oil from Canada to Michigan. The administration has now decided not to do that.

Meanwhile, the inflation report notes major increases in rent, with the national median up 16 percent since the beginning of the year.

And get ready for an expensive Thanksgiving too as nearly every part of the traditional holiday dinner will cost more this year, according to a recent roundup from the New York Times.

Turkey will by far be the most expensive element, largely due to the price of corn, which is what most commercial turkeys are fed.

Whole frozen turkeys between eight and 16 pounds already cost 25 cents a pound more than they did in 2020, according to a report released by the Department of Agriculture on Friday. 

Packaged dinner rolls will cost more because the price of many ingredients used by commercial bakers has gone up. Canned cranberry sauce is also more expensive this year given that domestic steel plants are still trying to get caught up from shutdowns due to the pandemic.

Trey Malone, an agricultural economist at Michigan State University, says Americans will certainly see the price difference this harvest holiday.

“I can buy that this will be the most expensive Thanksgiving ever, but there’s an income-inequality story here that matters a lot,” Malone said. “The rich are going to be spending more on Thanksgiving than they have ever spent before, but not everyone is going to be able to do that.” 

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