Skipping out on the Thanksgiving turkey this year? Local economist explains why prices are higher

Thanksgiving food and travel plans may be affected by rising prices
Published: Nov. 18, 2021 at 8:58 PM EST
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - From the prices of turkeys to a gallon of gas — prices are rising across the board. The reasons why are clear.

“The rise in prices recently is because of the supply chain disruptions,” said Adam Jones, regional economist. “Some of it is also that we have a disruption in the labor market going on and some of it is that we have an increase in demand, and we still have the remnants of expanded unemployment benefits and stimulus checks.”

Prices of non-durable goods like food and gas have gone up about 5.4% since this time last year.

Stimulus checks are a big reason why many people say they’re willing to pay a higher price for that once-a-year Thanksgiving turkey.

But, some people say they’re okay with not having some Thanksgiving favorites on their table next week if that means saving a few bucks.

“All of us are forward-looking planners and you think, ‘Gee, the budget’s gonna be a little tighter in the future — maybe I should do some things like cutting back now.’ That looks like fewer road trips, potentially stay closer to home over the holidays, maybe a drive a different vehicle to try and cut a little bit, maybe skip a couple meals,” Jones said.

Jones said he expects people to buy most of their normal Thanksgiving meals although they might consider cutting back a little bit and buying a smaller turkey than normal, or not make as many side dishes.

“Even though prices are going up, they can still afford to buy their Thanksgiving. So, it’s not yet belt tightening time, but if this continues it could very well come to that,” Jones said.

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