Economics expert: Thanksgiving grocery prices to be similar to last year’s

Food inflation has cooled off from pandemic highs
Published: Nov. 18, 2023 at 11:37 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Thanksgiving is less than a week away and if you haven’t already, you’re probably preparing your holiday grocery list and shopping for those kitchen essentials for the big meal.

UAB’s Assistant Professor of Economics Ben Meadows says fortunately, prices aren’t too different from last year’s Thanksgiving.

He says most grocery inflation has cooled off, meaning prices aren’t rising as dramatically as they were during the pandemic.

Meadows checked September CPI prices for some Thanksgiving staples, many of them grouped in with other similar products. He says turkey is up only 0.7% year over year; wine is 0.5 percent. Dressing is actually down in price at -0.4% year over year and fruits and vegetables had a solid 0% change, meaning you’ll pay the same price you did last year.

“When inflation cools off, it means prices are staying at the same level, not that they’re going down,” he explained. “For consumers, that is going to continue to be an adjustment. When you go to the grocery store and see that prices aren’t going down, that’s kind of how inflation works.”

Meadows is expecting similar prices for Christmas groceries so no need to hurry and stock up on those pantry items a month out.

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