Costs of '12 Days of Christmas' only slightly higher this year - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Costs of '12 Days of Christmas' only slightly higher this year

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PITTSBURGH -

If you want to buy that special someone the gifts included in the holiday classic “The 12 Days of Christmas,” they will only cost 0.7 percent more than last year, according to the 33rd annual economic analysis by The PNC Financial Services Group. 

The small price rise in the PNC Christmas Price Index reflects slow economic growth, and wage inflation caused an increase in some holiday entertainment options.

PNC’s whimsical economic analysis calculated the price tag for the Christmas Price Index at $34,363.49, just $232.50 or 0.7 percent more than last year’s cost and less than the government’s Consumer Price Index, which has increased 1.6 percent over the past 12 months.

Thomas P. Melcher, chief investment officer for PNC Asset Management Group, noted that consumers should consider shopping early to take advantage of this year’s bargains before a potential Federal Reserve rate increase, which will likely raise consumer borrowing costs.

“The economy continues to expand, and it is likely the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates this month or early next year,” Melcher said. “Consumers appear to be cautiously optimistic spenders this year, and we’re anticipating a slight improvement in the holiday retail season.”

Brick-and-Mortar Bargains

The PNC CPI also calculates the cost of shopping for the 12 gifts online. As internet prices tend to be higher, convenience comes at a cost this year. Those who prefer shopping online will have to spend $44,602 for the gifts, $10,239 more than buying them at a store.

Gift Cost Changes

The cost of each item was revealed this morning on PNC’s interactive website (pnc.co/ChristmasPriceIndex), which teaches consumers about the index and features a historical comparison of index data. Of the 12 items measured by the index, eight remained the same price as last
year. 

Highlights include:

Pipers Piping: Wage inflation will make some entertainment options more costly this year, including pipers piping. The cost for 11 pipers piping increased for the first time since 2013, rising 2.8 percent from $2,635 to $2,708.

In-Store Shoppers Get The Biggest Bargains

Drummers Drumming: The price for 12 drummers drumming also rose 2.8 percent to $2,934 due to increased pay. For bargain entertainment, the prices for nine ladies dancing ($7,552) and 10 Lords-a-leaping ($5,508) held steady this year.

Turtle Doves: The cost of two turtle doves soared 29 percent to $375 this year due to a shortage of birds. A turtle dove only lays two to three clutches a year, with only two eggs per clutch, making these lovebirds a hard gift to find.

A Partridge in a Pear Tree: The real bargain this year is the partridge, which fell 20 percent in price to $20 due to an increase in supply. Combined with the pear tree, the price for this gift fell 2.3 percent this year to $210.

Gold Rings: Despite a rise in gold commodity prices this year, the cost of five gold rings stayed surprisingly the same at $750. The rings appear less volatile as the underlying commodity, having held steady for four consecutive years.

To mirror the government’s core CPI, which excludes energy and food prices, PNC removes the Swans – typically the most volatile item in the index – from its total index. With the Swans excluded, the core PNC CPI rose 1.1 percent, similar to the 2.1 percent increase in the government’s core CPI, which is also rising faster than the overall index. 

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