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Economist: San Diego County Residents Will Spend $15M On Thanksgiving

Evaluating the Economic Impact of the Holiday Season

Around $15 million will be spent to prepare Thanksgiving dinner around San Diego County, a local economist said Tuesday.

The average amount spent on home-cooked Thanksgiving meals per resident is $5.18, said Ray Major, chief economist for the San Diego Association of Governments.

That figure pales in comparison to the amount of money that will be spent on Black Friday. Major said San Diegans are expected to drop $553 million on gifts the day after Thanksgiving.

"From time to time, it's important to step back to get a clear view on how events and holidays affect our region," Major said. "I think many people will be surprised to see how holiday-related spending and tourism affect our local economy."

Among other holiday statistics provided by Major:

• 428,000 turkeys will be consumed in San Diego region

• the combined intake of 13 billion calories at Thanksgiving dinner by San Diegans would take the equivalent of running to the moon and back 241 times to burn off

• 366,000 cars will travel to San Diego during the holiday weekend, covering an average of 245 miles

• each resident will spend an average of $163 on Black Friday.

Major used the American Farm Bureau Federation's national figures, and adjusted them to San Diego grocery prices. Other data came from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, San Diego Tourism Authority, U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the Internal Revenue Service and