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Thanksgiving in New York City: Parade, Tourism & Shopping


Thanksgiving By the Numbers

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade draws 3.5 million enthusiastic visitors to Manhattan, as well as roughly 50 million television viewers. Festivities held over the long weekend have enticed thousands of tourists to visit New York City, boosting business for the city’s 50,000 hospitality workers and 300,000 food and beverage service employees. The economic benefits are clear: last November, retailers employed 360,000 New Yorkers for busy holiday shopping season that is kicks off on Black Friday.

Adding to the fun is Small Business Saturday which spurs business for the city’s roughly 207,600 registered small businesses. New York City has the second highest number of small businesses in the U.S. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over 30,000 of these businesses are retail and will be kept busy with eager holiday shoppers this weekend.

Thanksgiving Feasts at Home: Turkey Price Index

The cost of a Thanksgiving dinner has increased over the past eight years, according to our famous Turkey Price Index. Overall, frozen turkey prices have increased 38.5% from October 2008-2016 to the current retail price of $1.65 per pound.

Considering the average turkey weighs 24 pounds, this year it will cost an estimated $39.60 for the culinary centerpiece of a Thanksgiving Day feast. While this price appears to be relatively high, it doesn't reach the $1.82per pound historical high from October 2013.

The most expensive Thanksgiving holidays occurred in 2012 and 2013 consecutively, with turkey prices slightly above $1.80 per pound. Meanwhile, the lowest cost turkey was found at the start of the Great Recession in November 2008. It's important to interesting to note that Thanksgiving’s flagship fowl has always been the least expensive meat included in the CPI, lower than cost per pound of chicken, pork, beef, and eggs.

Turkey prices have proven far more volatile than the prices of the basket of goods included in CPI. Most years, the index reveals that turkey prices fluctuate most frequently each fall from September to November. Although the price of a turkey rose by nearly 38.5% between October 2008 and October 2016, average growth rates between October and November was - 4.5%. On average, the price of turkey has the strongest growth between December and January.

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