Wall Street may be quiet for the July 4th holiday, but millions of Americans will keep the economy humming as they celebrate the nation's Independence Day this Thursday.
Here are some facts and figures about what economic activity we can expect for Independence Day 2019:
A Big Day for Eating and Drinking
Nearly 90% of Americans plan to celebrate the holiday, spending a total of $6.7 billion on food items alone, according to an annual survey from the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. That's down slightly from 2018's $6.9 billion in July 4th food sales.
Hot dogs will be one of the day's biggest sellers. Americans will eat an estimated 150 million hot dogs -- enough to stretch from Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles more than five times over if laid out horizontally, according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council. In fact, the council says that 10% of all hot dog sales occur in July, which (not surprisingly) is designated as National Hot Dog Month.
The current record for most hot dogs eaten in 10 minutes is currently 74, a mark set last year by Joey Chestnut in the annual Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest, sponsored by Nathan's Famous hot dogs.
Another big seller for July 4th celebrations? Alcohol. According to a report from the National Beer Wholesalers Association, July 4th produces the highest beer sales out of all U.S. federal holidays. Americans spent an estimated $1 billion on beer and another $568 million on wine for last year's Independence Day celebrations.
Fireworks Are a Top Activity
Some 40% of Americans will celebrate July 4th with fireworks and community events, the National Retail Federation survey found. In fact, American consumers will spend more than $900 million on fireworks this year -- a $75 million increase from 2016, according to the American Pyrotechnics Association. If you add together consumer sales and revenue from official fireworks displays, Americans have spent more than $1 billion on fireworks every year since 2014, the APA said.
Unfortunately, fireworks-related injuries also spike on July 4th. On average, 180 people a day go to U.S. emergency rooms with fireworks-related injuries around the holiday.
Shopping Is Always an Option
Nearly 30% of Americans celebrating July 4th say they'll spend more this year on patriotic items -- flags, apparel, decorations, etc., according to the National Retail Federation.
But which groups are doing the buying might surprise you. Some 40% of Americans age 18-24 plan to make a patriotic purchase vs. just 7% of those 65 or older.
The most common patriotic item that people said they currently own is an American flag, with 50% of women and 64% of men saying Old Glory is part of their household.
Getting There Is Half the Battle
A record-breaking 48.9 million Americans plan to travel on Independence Day itself, according to the American Automobile Association. That's nearly 2 million more travelers than last year, AAA said.
For the holiday period overall, AAA expects travel to rise 4.1% from last year, with an additional 1.9 million people planning road trips and other vacations to celebrate America's birthday.
The vast majority of travelers -- 41.4 million -- will hit the road by car. That's the highest number on record for a July 4th holiday period and 4.3% more people than traveled by car last year, according to AAA.
Another 3.96 million people will take to the skies -- also the highest number on record for July 4th-related air travel, as well as 5.3% more Americans than flew by plane around the holiday last year, AAA said.
However, not everyone's trip will go smoothly, as AAA expects to rescue nearly 367,000 motorists at the roadside this Independence Day holiday. The car club predicts that dead batteries, flat tires and lockouts will be the leading reasons that AAA members experience car trouble.
The club recommends being prepared for emergencies by taking along a mobile phone and car charger, a flashlight with extra batteries, a first-aid kit, a basic toolkit and drinking water and snacks for all passengers.