This year the total cost is $18,920.59, a 3.1% increase over last year’s cost of $18,348.87.
The price of half the items remained the same as 2005. The greatest increase – 38.1%% - was in the cost of the partridge in a pear tree. Although the price of the actual partridge remained constant, the cost of a pear tree was up by $40.00, an increase of 44.4% due to “robust commercial construction.” The 4 calling birds were up 20%.
Labor costs for performers and musicians increased from 3% to 4%. Once again the 9 Ladies Dancing were the most expensive item on the list at $4,759.19, a 4% increase from 2005. I know from experience that dancing ladies are expensive. The leaping lords were not far behind at $4,160.25.
It appears that performing artists still have a better union than musicians, as the dancing ladies and leaping lords earned cost twice as much as the pipers and drummers. The poor maids-a-milking continue to be paid the minimum wage, which has not increased since 1997. Their cost was only $1.20 more than the cheapest item on the list, the 2 turtle doves, which clocked in at $40.00.
For more information on the Christmas Price Index go to www.pncchristmaspriceindex.com.