Why is this Thanksgiving different from the rest? Ask any retailer who thinks the big feast is simply a warm-up act to Black Friday, the big shopping day. But before That shopper's high kicks in, Americans should check the family balance sheet: Turkey is up 7 percent; white potatoes are up 23 percent; dairy products are up over 10 percent, and fruits and vegetables are up nearly 7 percent. the American Automobile Association also predicts a big rise in holiday car travel. Some 42.5 million of us will be on the road – the highest number of holiday travelers since the start of the recession. But that will cost you, too. Nationally, gas prices are up more than 49 cents a gallon over last year at this time. Happy Turkey Day!
In the run-up to Thanksgiving and the holidays, retailers are throwing their doors open earlier, jumpstarting Black Friday on Thursday. The retail sales numbers won’t come in until well after the last Thanksgiving turkey or tofu pie has been scraped clean. Meanwhile, here’s a look at some important economic numbers, trends and insights this Thanksgiving season.