That gift you want to buy for someone special will cost you just a little bit more this year.
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.
The bank today released its “12 Days of Christmas” economic analysis, which calculates the prices of the 12 gifts featured in the classic carol.
PNC’s economic analysis calculated the price tag for the Christmas Price Index at $34,363.49, just 0.7 percent more than 2015’s cost and less than the government’s Consumer Price Index, which has increased 1.6 percent over the past 12 months.
Thomas 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.”
Some of the highlights of the index:
• Drummers Drumming: The price for 12 drummers drumming also rose just under 3 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.
• 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. Wage inflation is the cause of the increase.
• 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.
• A Partridge in a Pear Tree: The price of a partridge fell 20 percent 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.