Has Inflation Killed the Easter Bunny?

The Easter Bunny may have a lighter load this year. With the price of eggs so high, people will save them for breakfast instead of coloring them and hiding them for the kids.

Dollar Tree, a discount variety store and Fortune 500 company that operates 15,115 stores in 48 states and Canada, has pulled eggs from its shelves. According to Dollar Tree spokesman Randy Guiler, “The cost of eggs is currently very high and we won’t sell eggs again until costs are more in line with historical levels.” Dollar Tree had been selling eggs for $1.25 per dozen, which is the price of many products in Dollar Tree stores.

Data from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis shows the average egg price has gone from $2.05 a dozen in February of 2022 to $4.21 a dozen in February of this year… an increase of 105%. California has seen the biggest increase going from $2.35 to $7.37 a dozen—213%.

Egg prices hit record highs in January of almost $5 a dozen due to a global outbreak of avian flu. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that more than 43 million egg-laying hens had to be destroyed causing a massive drop in available egg supply. According to Texas A&M University, avian flu is harder on layer hens because those birds are in production for a longer period of time than broiler chickens, which are used for meat, so layers have a higher risk of exposure to the virus.

Farmers are rebuilding their flocks, but according to the University of Wisconsin, it takes 4-6 months from the time a chick is hatched before it begins laying eggs.

The USDA predicts egg prices will drop by almost 27 percent in 2023, but not by Easter. So, the quandary is, do you take the eggs sunny side up, or paint them red, blue, and green and hope your kids find them before July 4th?

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