’12 Days of Christmas’ shopping list costs rise 3.5 percent

    A seasonal consumer price index is reflecting the sluggish economy.

    Consumers looking to give their true loves all the bounty of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” will face smaller price increases than in years past.

    A partridge in a pear tree, two turtle doves, three French hens–the list goes on, according to the song, and the price of all the items, in each verse, has gone up 3.5 percent.

    That’s according to the PNC Christmas Price Index, based on “The Twelve Days of Christmas” carol.

    Jim Dunigan, managing executive of investments at PNC Bank, said most items cost more this Christmas, but not all of them.

    “A number of the items stayed the same this year. French hens saw no increase,” Dunigan said. “Three of the labor components–maids a-milking, ladies dancing, and lords a-leaping–also did not get a wage increase, similar to what we saw in the economy overall with wages up only 1.6 percent this year.”

    Wondering about the five gold rings, given the record highs at which gold has been trading this year? The price of five gold rings actually went down just slightly–by less than 1 percentage point.

    Dunigan said the drop shows jewelers are reacting to low gold demand by penny-pinching consumers.

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