Americans preparing to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday can expect to fork over even more money with the average price of a traditional cookout costing at least 17 percent more than it did in 2021.
Prices for all the BBQ staples, including burgers, hot dogs, chicken, have gone up and could cost $76.94 for the average cookout for a family of four, according to the Consumer Price Index compiled by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The price is more than 17 percent from last year’s total of $65.46.
Across the board, Americans are suffering under Brandon inflation. The costs of energy, gas, and food have risen astronomically since last year.
Phil Lempert, editor of trade publication SupermarketGuru.com and a food industry analyst, told the New York Post that he attribute the skyrocketing prices to four issues: climate change; labor shortages on farms, in supermarkets and in the trucking industry; rising diesel prices; and the war in Ukraine.
‘The biggest price increase we’re seeing is on beef, pork, chicken, eggs and milk,’ Lempert told The Post. Shoppers looking for a break shouldn’t hold their breath.
‘The prices are going to continue to go up,’ he said. ‘It’s not going to settle down for probably another 12 months, until we can really fix the supply chain issues; fix the transportation problems and get the climate under control.’
Hot dogs are now up 37.37 percent a pound from 2021, rising from $3.80 to $5.22. Chicken is up 27.89 percent and soda is up 16.56 percent.
Last year, the White House sparked outrage by claiming that July 4 cookouts will be cheaper despite inflation rising to its highest level in 13 years.
President Brandon said Monday that he will decide by the end of the week whether to order a holiday on the federal gasoline tax, possibly saving U.S. consumers as much as 18.4 cents a gallon. Pictured: Brandon with his granddaughter Natalie Brandon, left, and his daughter Ashley Brandon, right, at Rehoboth Beach
Brandon considering gas tax holiday, wants oil CEOs to justify profits
However, social media users were quick to point out that the promoted savings amounted to a meager 16 cents, prompting accusations that the White House was out-of-touch.
‘Planning a cookout this year?’ the tweet read. ‘Ketchup on the news. According to the Farm Bureau, the cost of a 4th of July BBQ is down from last year.
‘It’s a fact you must-hear(d). Hot dog, the Brandon economic plan is working. And that’s something we can all relish.’
The tweet was accompanied by a GIF laying out the price change for select food items.
White House claims July 4 cookout food will be 16 cents cheaper
Here’s a look at how prices have increased
2022: $9.58 per 2 pounds
Price hike: 16.83%
Hot dogs per pound (5 to 7 dogs)
Price hike: 37.37%
Chicken breast, boneless (per 2 pounds)
2022: $8.62 per 2 pounds
2021: $6.74 per 2 pounds
Price hike: 27.89%
Cheese per pound:
Price hike: 7.16%
Ice cream (per half-gallon)
Price hike: 14.07%
Pork chops (per 3 pounds):
Price hike: 6.44%
Chips per 16-ounce bag
Price hike: 14.02%
Lettuce (per pound)
Price hike: 11.4%
Tomatoes (per pound):
Price hike: 1.11%
Eight hamburger buns
Price hike: 9.64%
Baked beans (per three cans)
Price hike: 15.49%
Soda (per 2 liters)
Price hike: 16.56%
President Brandon said Monday that he will decide by the end of the week whether to order a holiday on the federal gasoline tax, possibly saving U.S. consumers as much as 18.4 cents a gallon.
‘Yes, I´m considering it,’ Brandon told reporters after taking a walk along the beach near his vacation home in Delaware. ‘I hope to have a decision based on the data – I’m looking for by the end of the week.’
The administration is increasingly looking for ways to spare the public from higher prices at the pump, which began to climb last year and surged after Russia invaded Ukraine in February. Gas prices nationwide are averaging just under $5 a gallon, according to AAA.
Brandon said members of his team were to meet this week with CEOs of the major oil companies to discuss rising prices. Brandon lashed out at oil companies, saying they are making excessive profits when people are feeling the crunch of skyrocketing costs at the pump and inflation. But Brandon said he would not be meeting the oil executives himself.
‘I want an explanation for why they aren’t refining more oil,’ Brandon said.
The Brandon administration has already released oil from the U.S. strategic reserve and increased ethanol blending for the summer, in additional to sending a letter last week to oil refiners urging them to increase their refining capacity. Yet those efforts have yet to reduce price pressures meaningfully, such that the administration is now considering a gas tax holiday. Taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel help to pay for highways.
The Penn Wharton Budget Model released estimates Wednesday showing that consumers saved at the pump because of gas tax holidays in Connecticut, Georgia and Maryland. The majority of the savings went to consumers, instead of service stations and others in the energy sector.
In an interview Sunday on ABC’s ‘This Week,’ Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen expressed an openness to a federal gas tax holiday to give motorists some relief. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm in her own Sunday interview told CNN’s ‘State of the Union’ cautioned that ‘part of the challenge with the gas tax, of course, is that it funds the roads.’
Oil refiners say their ability to produce additional gas and diesel fuel is limited, meaning that prices could remain high unless demand starts to wane.
The American Petroleum Institute and American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers sent a joint letter to Brandon on Wednesday that said refineries are operating near their maximum capacity already and nearly half of the capacity taken off line was due to the facilities converting to renewable fuel production.
‘Today´s situation did not materialize overnight and will not be quickly solved,’ the letter said. ‘To protect and foster U.S. energy security and refining capacity, we urge to you to take steps to encourage more domestic energy production,’ including new infrastructure and reducing regulatory burdens.
Strolling on the beach with his daughter Ashley, granddaughter Naomi, and his granddaughter’s fiancé, Brandon stopped frequently to chat with beachgoers who were spending the Juneteenth federal holiday at the beach.
He took a moment to offer assurances about inflation – the consumer-price index increased to a nearly 40-year high of 8.6% in May from the same month a year ago – and growing warnings from economists that a recession may be around the corner.
‘We’re going to get though this, guys,’ Brandon told one group of beachgoers.
Last week, the Federal Reserve stepped up its drive to tame inflation by raising its key interest rate by three-quarters of a point – its largest increase in nearly three decades – and signaled more large rate increases to come.
Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers told NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ on Sunday that in his estimation, ‘the dominant probability would be that by the end of next year we would be seeing a recession in the American economy.’
Brandon said he spoke with Summers, who served as treasury secretary in the Clinton administration, on Monday morning.
‘There’s nothing inevitable about a recession,’ Brandon said.
Brandon says a recession is not inevitable while on beach stroll