Banking & Finance

:
True Love’s 12 Christmas Gifts Rise 0.6% From 2016

December 1, 2017

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – True loves will be on their merry way to a more robust and satisfying holiday shopping season this year, according to The PNC Christmas Price Index. To purchase the gifts included in the classic holiday song “The 12 Days of Christmas,” it will only cost 0.6% more than in 2016, says PNC Financial Services Group.

PNC calculated the 2017 price tag for The PNC Christmas Price Index at $34,558.65, approximately $200 or 0.6% more than last year’s cost and less than the government’s Consumer Price Index, which increased 2.2% through September for the past 12 months.

“The U.S. economy is growing at a sustainable pace, fueled by higher consumer confidence, low unemployment, modest wage gains, and low interest rates,” said Thomas P. Melcher, chief investment officer for PNC Asset Management Group in a news release. “However, The PNC Christmas Price Index rose at slow steady pace of 0.6% in 2017, as companies appear hesitant to pass through price increases to the consumer.”

The cost of each item was revealed on PNC’s website.

Of the 12 items measured by the index, nine remained the same price as last year. This year’s insights include:

  • A Partridge in a Pear Tree: The overall price for this top-of-list item increased 4.7%, but not because of the partridge. The pear tree increased 5.2%, from $189.99 to $199.95 due to increased cost of living for workers and the limited supply of larger, more mature trees.
  • Gold Rings: The largest growth rate in this year’s index was the cost of five gold rings, which jumped 10% due to increased demand and popularity. Prices had remained steady at $750 during the last five years.
  • Lords-a-Leaping: Despite wages rising modestly and a tight job market, only the lords-a-leaping saw an increase, as prices jumped 2% to $5,618.90 after two years of stagnant growth.

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. The core PNC Christmas Price Index was up 0.9% from a year ago, while the government’s core Consumer Price Index rose 1.7% year-over-year through September.

For those true loves who prefer the convenience of shopping online, the PNC Christmas Price Index also calculates the cost of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” gifts purchased on the Internet. As Internet prices tend to be higher due to travel and shipping costs, true loves will have to splurge $45,096 ($10,538 more than in store purchases) for the convenience of online shopping this year.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.