The Hot Dog Economy
In honor of Independence Day, StatsBee is looking at the great American traditions of barbecues and consuming hot dogs. New York City is well-known for its love of hot dogs, from the sight of street carts selling them at nearly every corner, to the nationally-televised Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island.
According to the National Retail Federation, this year 68% of Americans plan to celebrate the 4th of July by grilling or attending cookouts, which is an even greater share than those who will be watching fireworks (49%). While few people in the City have access to the luxury of a yard in which to grill, the Parks Department has 56 designated barbecuing areas for public use (more than half of which are in Brooklyn and Queens). We also know that plenty of New Yorkers will be utilizing their rooftops and other urban spaces for their barbecues.
How does this relate to the economy? Well, if you’re planning to have hot dogs, you will be spending 6% more on the frankfurters and 3% more on bread this year than last – which was above overall inflation of 1.7%. On the bright side, the price of relish is down 1.5%, while ketchup and mustard are down 0.4% from last year.
2011 was a record year for Black Friday spending, according to the latest report released by the National Retail Federation (NRF). Their annual survey of shoppers revealed that clothing and accessories remained by far the most common purchase. Electronics were the second most common purchase this year, overtaking books, CDs, DVDs, and video games for the first time. At New York City’s more than 30,000 stores, Black Friday weekend spending was approximately $1 billion this year.
Black Friday specials are heavily marketed by big box and chain retail stores, and so last year Small Business Saturday was created in response to help smaller neighborhood businesses benefit from increased consumer spending in the weekend after Thanksgiving. Sponsored by American Express and supported in New York City by the Department of Small Business Services, the second annual Small Business Saturday offered a variety of discounts and specials (PDF) at stores, restaurants, and bars across all five boroughs.
Finally, today is Cyber Monday, when bargain hunters turn their focus to online retailers. More than half of the shoppers in the NRF survey planned to make purchases online today—but only 16% of these said that they would do so at work, so it appears productivity isn’t likely to suffer as a result.
Statsbee is a column featuring interesting statistics about NYC, written by economists at the Economic Research & Analysis department within NYCEDC’s Center for Economic Transformation. (Image source)