Sunday, December 18, 2011

PNC Christmas Price Index

PNC Financial Services Group does a 'Christmas Price Index' each year based on the song, "Twelve Days of Christmas." The main website is an awfully unnavigable flash page, but they also provide a nice PDF. Calling birds and gold rings are slightly cheaper this year than last, but everything else is at least as expensive as last year. In our current economy, the price of getting twelve drummers drumming, eleven pipers piping, ten lords-a-leaping, nine ladies dancing, eight maids a-milking, seven swans a-swimming, six geese a-laying, five golden rings, four calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree is $24,263.18, up 3.5% from last year, although a good deal of that is driven by the highly volatile swan market; dancers (both lords and ladies) are the most expensive items on the list, at least at dance company and ballet prices. But swans are far and away the most expensive non-service items on the list, and there are a whopping seven of them; which has a considerable effect on the price, because swan mating cycles are highly unpredictable, and thus supply of swans can vary drastically from year to year. It is apparently not a good year for buying swans. If you take the swans out of the picture, the rise of the price over last year is only 0.7%.

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