U.S. prices at record highs for this year's Thanksgiving holiday

Source: Xinhua| 2021-11-13 21:20:43|Editor: huaxia

Video: "Everyone's pinching a little bit here and there." -- U.S. inflation surged to the highest level in three decades as supply chain disruptions have persisted for months. Let's hear how it impacts people's lives. (Xinhua)

The timing does not bode well for Democrats, in the one-year lead up to the midterm elections. Experts said Democrats could see major losses if inflation continues to rise and whack people's wallets.

by Matthew Rusling

WASHINGTON, Nov. 13 (Xinhua) -- Thanksgiving is just around the corner, but rapidly rising inflation is expected to put a dent in people's wallets this holiday season.


October's Consumer Price Index, which is a measure of a basket of goods, climbed a whopping 6.2 percent from the same month last year, and now stands at a 30-year high.

The cost of staple food items -- meat, eggs, fish and poultry -- has soared 10.5 percent for the year ended Sept. 2021, reported the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The United States has been bedeviled by supply chain issues throughout the pandemic, and that has raised costs and put them squarely on the shoulders of the consumer.

Turkeys are the staple of the American Thanksgiving feast, which is coming up at month's end.

The meaty birds are expected to cost significantly more this year, amid reduced supply during a supply chain crisis in which there's no end in sight.

Turkeys weighing between 8 pounds and 16 pounds are up 25 cents per pound more than last year, while the price of turkeys between 16 and 24 pounds cost around 21 cents per pound more, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

In sharp contrast to this year -- expected to be the most expensive Thanksgiving in decades -- the average price of last year's Thanksgiving had declined 4 percent from the previous year, according to the Farm Bureau, as reported by CNBC.

John Catsimatidis, the CEO of New York City supermarket Gristedes, who is also in the oil industry, told Fox Business News on Wednesday that the increasing price of oil and gas, coupled with labor shortages, is to blame for rising grocery prices.

Prices are "increasing across the board and the main fault is the price of gasoline and the price of crude oil and labor shortages," Catsimatidis said.

"This is a tax on the poor and the middle class," he added.

Gas prices now stand at a 7-year-high, and Republicans blame U.S. President Joe Biden for a crackdown on fossil fuel consumption since he took office. Most notable is the president's cancellation of a key permit that caused the shutdown of the Keystone Pipeline -- an oil pipeline stretching from Canada to the United States.

Last week, Jay Jandrain, the CEO of Butterball, one of the nation's leading turkey brands, told Fox Business News that turkeys will be more difficult to find this Thanksgiving, and it is reasonable to expect higher prices.

People shop in a grocery store in Washington, D.C., the United States, on Nov. 10, 2021. (Photo by Ting Shen/Xinhua)


The timing does not bode well for Democrats, in the one-year lead up to the midterm elections. Experts said Democrats could see major losses if inflation continues to rise and whack people's wallets.

The holiday also comes less than a month after Republicans won a stunning upset in last week's Virginia governors' race. The GOP also nearly clinched the governor's race in deeply Democratic New Jersey, in a shocking development no one had expected.

Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel on Wednesday said that Biden's "failed economic agenda" has caused prices to skyrocket.

"American families are facing record-setting costs for everyday goods, from gas to groceries ... In Biden's America, your paycheck is worth less, and you owe the government more," McDaniel said.

The White House has blamed surging, pent-up demand for inflation and supply chain bottlenecks.

Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Darrell West told Xinhua that inflation is becoming a bigger concern as people are seeing higher prices in gasoline, food, and durable goods.

"That hits people hard at a time when the country has been through an 18-month pandemic. There are supply chain barriers that contribute to rising prices, so Biden needs to deal with those issues in order not to have big problems next year," West said.

Christopher Galdieri, assistant professor at Saint Anselm College, told Xinhua that if inflation eases and prices, particularly on food and gas, stop spiking, "I think it recedes as an issue."

"If things continue to rise, that's bad news for the party in power, particularly since they don't have any margin of error in either House of Congress," he said, referring to Democrats' razor-thin majority.

Jeff Williams, a retiree in the DC area in his 60s, told Xinhua the price of gas is "really high now," and added that travel during Thanksgiving -- the nation's biggest travel weekend -- will be much more expensive this year than last year.

He retired over the summer, and added that higher gas prices are especially difficult for those living on a fixed income.

Kate Goodwin, in her late 30s, who works at a print shop in the state of New Jersey, told Xinhua that prices at her local supermarket are rising.

She added that Thanksgiving will be expensive this year.

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