Pittsburgh: In the unlikely event that your Christmas list this year includes every item mentioned in The Twelve Days of Christmas, be prepared to pay nearly $100,000.
Trying to buy the 364 items repeated in all the song's verses — from 12 drummers drumming to a partridge in a pear tree — would cost $96,824, an increase of 10.8 per cent over last year, according to the annual Christmas Price Index compiled by PNC Wealth Management.
So you might want to try for one of everything. That would cost only $23,439, or 9.2 per cent more than last year. The 27th annual holiday index has historically mirrored the national Consumer Price Index, but not this year. The PNC Christmas Price Index grew 9.2 per cent from last year, compared with just a 1.1 per cent increase in the much broader Consumer Price Index.
Jim Dunigan, managing executive of investment for PNC Wealth Management, said that's because the whimsical holiday price index looks at a much smaller group of goods and services. Even within the index itself, there are some goods that have seen small increases and others that have seen larger ones, he said.
Also, gold prices are high — which pushed the cost of five gold rings up 30 per cent to $649.95 — as was the cost of hiring entertainers. Not to mention the birds.
"There's no doubt that our feathered friends in general make up a good portion of the increase," Dunigan said. The price of feed and availability led to a 78.6 per cent increase in the price of two turtle doves, to $100, and a whopping 233 per cent increase in the cost of three french hens, to $150.