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Buyers of real Christmas trees paid on average $75 for their Christmas trees last year, up from $35 in 2013, according a survey commissioned by the National Christmas Tree Association, and spokesperson Doug Hundley says that wholesalers are reporting prices $80 or higher this season.

Expand chart
Data: National Christmas Tree Association; Chart: Chris Canipe / Axios

Why prices have more than doubled: Hundley blames the great recession for limiting the industry's capacity to harvest enough trees to keep prices from rising steeply. Because it takes a Christmas tree about ten years to grow harvestable, the drop off in demand between 2007 and 2009 meant that growers did not have the revenue or available space on their farms to plant the trees that are being bought today.

One caveat: Hundley points out that the National Christmas Tree Association survey asks respondents how much they paid for their Christmas tree, but not about its size. It's possible that some of this increase in spending is due to shoppers opting for bigger or better-quality trees, especially as the economic recovery shifted into higher gear over the past year.

Blame inflation: In a note to clients, Deutsche Bank's Torsten Sløk said Christmas tree prices could reflect general inflation just as much as the idiosyncrasies of evergreen farming.

Go deeper

24 mins ago - World

Blinken says he hasn't seen evidence Hamas was in AP building Israel struck

Smoke rises after sraeli forces destroyed building in Gaza City where Al-Jazeera and Associated Press had their offices. Photo: Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Monday he had not seen evidence that Hamas was operating in a building that housed offices for Al Jazeera, the AP and other media in the Gaza Strip, as the Israeli government has claimed, AP reports.

Why it matters: Israel has said the presence of a Hamas military intelligence office justified an airstrike that destroyed the 12-story building on Saturday. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told CBS News' "Face the Nation" Sunday that Israeli intelligence had shared proof with the U.S.

AT&T spins off WarnerMedia, forming new media behemoth with Discovery

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AT&T and Discovery have agreed to create a joint venture that would house WarnerMedia’s premium entertainment, sports and news assets with Discovery's nonfiction and international entertainment and sports businesses, the companies announced Monday.

Why it matters: It's a major course correction by AT&T. The deal essentially confirms shareholder fears that the company's $85 billion merger with Time Warner three years ago was not fully baked.

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Child tax credits from COVID relief plan to begin arriving July 15

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The expanded monthly child tax credit introduced in President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief package will begin arriving in parents' bank accounts on July 15, the White House said Monday.

Why it matters: The credit, part of the administration's plan to transform the country's social safety net in the wake of the pandemic, would provide families with $300 monthly cash payments per child up to age 5 and $250 for children ages 6–17.