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What can your turkey tell you about the state of the economy?

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Published : December 18th, 2012
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Aside from the presents, getting the biggest Turkey in the shop, making sure the house is warm and festive and the compulsory family argument the other tradition at Christmas is the vast expense it costs us all.

Christmas has always been expensive but over the past few years it seems to have really crept up. Whilst factors such as weather conditions are frequently blamed on meat and vegetable price hikes our research shows that when the Christmas dinner is priced in gold oz or gold grams, rather than British pounds or dollars, prices haven’t crept up anywhere near as much, and in some cases are going down in price.

So whilst governments can argue that price increases seen in food overall remain below the inflation measurement basket, it suggests that the real rate of inflation is significantly higher.

Christmas is celebrated by over 160 countries, each with their own traditions. And within them each family has their own ways of doing things. Here in the UK, and in the US, we have the traditional Christmas meal which usually comes with Turkey and all the trimmings.

According to the grocer.co.uk the price of the UK traditional dinner has increased by 14.3% in the last four years. However when we put it convert the cost into gold ounces the price has in fact decreased by 35%.



Turkey ‘aint so bad

The cost of meat is one of the biggest gripes today, but is the price going up or is the value of cash going down?

In the UK we have seen a 14% increase in the cost of frozen turkeys since 2008 when priced in British pounds. However, when priced in gold oz we see a decrease in the average price of a turkey by over 34%.




Around Thanksgiving the US media pounced on the increase in the cost of turkeys. Something which they were unable to explain given the increasing number of turkeys farmed every year. Yet the price keeps rising. In the US, the situation is even more dramatic when looked at since 2000. The price of frozen turkeys when priced in dollars per lb has shot up by over 60% since 2000. However, when priced in gold ounces per lb it has fallen by over 60%.




Eat your greens…if you can afford it!

And what about the vegetables? Well, looking at the price increases here we can see why it is so expensive to maintain a healthy diet these days.

Brussels sprouts, or as I like to call them ‘the parent’s revenge’ have gone up an extortionate amount, nearly 70% when priced in British pounds. But when priced in gold ounces the price change in percentage terms is just over 2%, and it’s a decrease.




It’s the same situation for carrots. When you look at it on a month by month basis you see the price can be quite volatile, but it has clearly been decreasing when priced in gold oz.



We find a similar case for the other vegetables which dress our Christmas plates, including potatoes.




And what about that time old classic – mince pies? We don’t just eat these on Christmas Day in the UK, they’re a general December fixture and their popularity doesn’t seem to be waning. Yet despite the same demand, why has the price increased by 5.7% in the last 4 years? It hasn’t, not when priced in the faceless currency that is gold ounces – instead it has decreased by 39%.




“Do you take gold ounces?”

Of course you can’t go and pay for your Christmas food in the shop with your gold ounces.

However, it might be worth thinking about putting your Christmas budget into gold at the beginning of the year, then your Turkey might not turn out to be so expensive after all.



Want protection from loose monetary policies? Buy gold online in minutes…

Please Note: Information published here is provided to aid your thinking and investment decisions, not lead them. You should independently decide the best place for your money, and any investment decision you make is done so at your own risk. Data included here within may already be out of date.

 

 

 

 

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Jan Skoyles is Head of Research at The Real Asset Company, a platform for secure and efficient gold investment. Jan first became interested in precious metals and sound money when she met Ned Naylor-Leyland whilst working alongside him in the summer of 2010. Jan then went on to write her undergraduate dissertation on the use of precious metals in the monetary system. After graduating from Aston University Jan joined The Real Asset Co research desk. Her work and views are now featured on a range of sites including Kitco, GATA and The Telegraph. She has appeared on news channels including Russia Today to discuss the gold price and gold investing. You can keep up with Jan's commentary by subscribing to our RSS feed Gold Investment News.
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