If you know this blog, you may have been expecting a holiday-themed post this week. We did our best, but—spoiler alert—it’s a bait and switch. We don’t have any recent price data on turkey meat. What we do have are recent price data on meat in Turkey. And, as you can see from the FRED graph above, that nation suffers from chronically high price inflation. (FYI: FRED has over 2,000 series of Turkish data.)
This year, Thanksgiving is more challenging in the U.S. not just for travelers but also for statistical agencies. The data-collection process for many of the series available in FRED has been disrupted by the pandemic, as agencies scramble to change their procedures to accommodate health guidelines and changing economic practices.
One example is the price of turkeys, which is usually available in the consumer price index. The Bureau of Labor Statistics hasn’t been able to provide an update since March 2020. Until the data become available again, we’ll have to serve up something less traditional. But we remain thankful for all the work these statistical agencies do to collect the data to make sense of our economy and make progress in the face of national challenges.
How this graph was created: Search for “turkey CPI” and click on the relevant series. From the “Edit Graph” menu, use the “Add Line” tab to search for the other series. Then be sure the indexes for both series are set to 100 on the same date.
Suggested by Christian Zimmermann.