Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The holidays are often a pricey time for families. But new numbers show that the cost of an average Thanksgiving meal remained steady this year — with certain staples actually seeing a cut.

Where it stands: The average cost of a Thanksgiving dinner for 10 is up only one cent — to $48.91 — from last year's total, the American Farm Bureau Federation reports. A 16-pound bird costs about $20.80 — or about $1.30 per pound — down 4% from last year.

  • The total price includes "turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a veggie tray, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, coffee and milk."
  • According to the survey, "retail turkey prices are the lowest since 2010."

Between the lines: Concerns about U.S. trade disputes have centered on costs rising for consumers, NBC News notes. But things have worked in consumers' favor when it comes to Thanksgiving, a holiday that — not surprisingly, given its presumed origin as a harvest celebration in Plymouth, Mass. — favors homegrown products.

  • An oversupply of some domestic goods, possibly fueled by tariffs on imports, has brought down some costs.
  • A 4-pound ham is set to be about $2 cheaper due to effects from trade conflicts with China and Mexico. (The Federation survey reports that 49% of its 2,200 respondents serve ham and turkey at Thanksgiving.)
  • Canned pumpkin pie filling and cubed bread stuffing will also cost less this year.

But, but, but... While lower prices are great for consumers, the agriculture industry is struggling. Farmers receive only 8 cents for every $1 of food sold, per the Federation.

  • Nearly 13,000 farms went out of business in 2018, NBC reports, citing the USDA.
  • "Low commodity prices over the past five years have been a key factor, exacerbated when agricultural exports to China were curtailed last year," according to NBC.
  • "That put further pressure on farms operating on thin margins."

The other side: Some imported delicacies will likely become more expensive — like certain cheeses and alcoholic beverages.

  • By year's end, a 25% tariff on $7.5 billion of European Union goods could hike the price of English cheddar and Italian Parmesan.
  • French wines and Scotch whiskey would also face the tariff.

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A satellite image of Hurricane Zeta. Photo: National Hurricane Center/NOAA

Hurricane Zeta has killed at least one person after a downed power line electrocuted a 55-year-old in Louisiana as the storm moved into Alabama overnight.

What's happening: After "battering southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi," it began lashing Alabama late Wednesday, per the National Hurricane Center.

Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases

Catholics go through containment protocols including body-temperature measurement and hands-sanitisation before entering the Saint Christopher Parish Church, Taipei City, Taiwan, in July. Photo: Ceng Shou Yi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Taiwan on Thursday marked no locally transmitted coronavirus cases for 200 days, as the island of 23 million people's total number of infections reported stands at 550 and the COVID-19 death toll at seven.

Why it matters: Nowhere else in the world has reached such a milestone. While COVID-19 cases surge across the U.S. and Europe, Taiwan's last locally transmitted case was on April 12. Experts credit tightly regulated travel, early border closure, "rigorous contact tracing, technology-enforced quarantine and universal mask wearing," along with the island state's previous experience with the SARS virus, per Bloomberg.

Go deeper: As Taiwan's profile rises, so does risk of conflict with China

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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