MERIC NEWS LETTER


Twelve Days of Christmas Price Index

For the 24th year, PNC Wealth Management has released its Christmas Price Index, a light-hearted look at the cost of the gifts in the classic holiday song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas”.  True Love's cost of Christmas will be more expensive this year due in part to higher shipping costs and the increase in the national minimum wage.

The total “Twelve Days of Christmas” cost is $19,507 in 2007, a 3.1 percent increase over last year.  With the exception of the recession in 2000 – 2001, prices have been steadily climbing since 1995.  This rise largely mirrors the Consumer Price Index; the most widely used federal measure of inflation.

Twelve Days of Christmas Price Index Graph

Source: PNC Financial Services Group

The increase in the cost of milkmaids comes as no surprise.  They are the only unskilled laborers in the Christmas Price Index making minimum wage, and have not had a raise since 1997.  This year Congress increased the minimum hourly wage from $5.15 to $5.85 bringing the cost of eight Maids-a-Milking for one hour of work to $46.80.  Since Congress has approved the continued increases in the minimum wage for the next two years, we can expect the cost of milkmaids to continue to increase.

PNC Twelve Days of Christmas Cost Table

The largest increase was in Calling Birds (or canaries), a 25% increase due to higher demand and increased shipping costs to retailers.

A bright side of the cost of the Twelve Days of Christmas is that 4 of the 12 items showed no change in cost from 2006.  A Partridge, Turtle Doves, French Hens, and Swans all remained the same cost from a year ago.  This is mostly due to a steady supply and demand for these items. However, the cost of Gold Rings rose 21.5 percent from $325 in 2006 to $395 in 2007.  This price is still considerably lower then the all time high of $750 in 1989. 

Shopping online may be more convenient; however, these conveniences will cost you a whopping $31,249 up 3 percent from a year ago.  In the case of the “Twelve Days of Christmas”, shopping online will cost you $11,700 more than if you bought these same items the traditional way.

For more information, visit the www.pncchristmaspriceindex.com website.

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