Economic Snapshot: A Bit More “Gravy” This Thanksgiving


Economic Snapshot: A Bit More “Gravy” This Thanksgiving


While this time of year typically brings gratitude for fundamental blessings like the presence of loved ones, good health, and the warmth of a meal on the table, recent holiday-themed articles emphasize that there might be additional reasons for economic thankfulness this autumn. Certainly when compared to the more recent thanksgiving since “The Great Recession.” for economic trends.


Travel Trends: A Thanksgiving Spike

NPR has a round-up of highlights — which they encourage readers to use at the dinner table to avoid more heated conversations with relatives! Among them:

Travel, for example, will be spiking, with the highest numbers of people hitting the roads, and the skies, since 2007. With gas prices falling — on averagearound 50 cents a gallon lower than at this time last year — consumers will find extra cash in their wallets, and in their card balances.

Shopping Patterns: Then and Now

Indeed, not just travel habits but also shopping behaviors have evolved since the days of President Abraham Lincoln’s declaration of Thanksgiving as a national holiday in 1863, which followed various regional observances.

The shopping side of the holiday got seriously underway some 80 years before the first “Cyber Monday,” according to the NPR summary:  “Since the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924, most Americans have regarded the following day as the ‘official’ start of the holiday shopping season.”

Thanksgiving’s Date Change: A Forgotten History

Though that specific “season” was given a boost with a forgotten bit of history that happened with another President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. As the  Huffington Post recounts: “Many decades ago retailers actually managed to convince the president to change the date of the holiday in order to get people to shop more.

“In 1939, during the Great Depression, then President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving Day a week earlier to give Americans an extra week to do their Christmas shopping.”

The Continuing Trend of Thanksgiving Shopping

In other words, “Fearing that the shortened holiday shopping season might further crimp the economy, FDR simply moved the date.”

The recent trend of retailers opening on Thanksgiving is an extension of a broader pattern that received a boost when President Franklin D. Roosevelt decided to address the concern of a too-short shopping season. However, FDR later reversed his decision, acknowledging that his Thanksgiving experiment did not significantly benefit the retail industry.

This Year’s Sales Forecast

Nevertheless, the tradition of combining Thanksgiving and holiday shopping endured. This year, as per the National Retail Federation, there may be a slightly reduced level of concern in this regard, except for the usual challenges such as long lines and parking issues. The forecast predicts a 4.1% increase in overall sales.


And of course, no matter when Thanksgiving falls on a given year, AVPS is here to help keep you current, season in, and season out, with payment technology, and happier customers that want to use it. But here’s hoping you grab off a little of that holiday happiness for yourself, first.

See you in December.

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