According to an informal supermarket survey conducted by the American Farm Bureau Federation, your Thanksgiving meal now costs 13% more than last year’s meal, averaging $49.20 for a family of ten:
This summer, poor weather shrank the crop yield as exports for beef and pork increased. Even so, many supermarkets are wary of passing along those costs to consumers. That mindset kept the food inflation rate at 0.8% last year, the slowest since 1962. But those days appear to be over. That rate has started to escalate as retail grocery prices rose 6.3% for the 12 months ending in September. Still, the Thanksgiving dinner averages out to $5 per person — plus leftovers! — an absolute bargain even in a time of rising food prices.
Along the same lines, Yglesias reports that the “retail price of a turkey is generally about 10 percent lower each November than it was the month before”:
The fact that prices for certain goods fall during peak demand periods is actually well-known among economists who care about such things, and it applies beyond Thanksgiving. Harvey’s explanation for the price drop is the most orthodox: Retailers heavily discount key seasonal goods in order to get customers in the door, then make their profits selling sweet potatoes and cream of mushroom soup.
Via Andrew Sullivan.