UAB Economist Provides Insight into the Economics of Holiday Shopping


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) – With the holidays fast approaching, many people may already be gift shopping. But will inflation force our holiday shopping budget to increase? An economics professor at UAB says it all depends on what’s on your list.

“You might want to cut the Thanksgiving turkey and get a flat screen,” Ben Meadows joked. He is Assistant Professor of Economics at UAB,

He then explains that the prices of some items are down, others are up. According to Meadows, the most inflationary item will likely be your holiday meal.

“If we look at groceries, or the prices that consumers experience at groceries, year over year, that inflation is about 11%, which is quite high,” he explained.

While you may feel sticker shock at the grocery store this season, it’s actually easier for some to shop for electronics.

“If you look at electronics spending, maybe over the last ten years, it looks like there’s runaway deflation,” Meadows said. “Basically, we’ve gotten so good at producing electronics that they’ve gotten cheaper every year.”

So headphones, TVs, laptops and other gadgets could be the must-have gifts this year. Meadows adds that clothing isn’t a bad choice either.

“Clothing inflation is actually on par with the past two years, so it’s hard to throw stones at that,” he added.

Just five weeks from Christmas, Meadows says he doesn’t expect prices to change too much over the next month and a half, but he still recommends shopping early so you can find the perfect gift.

Receive news alerts in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store or subscribe to our email newsletter here.


Comments are closed.