Thursday, November 30, 2017


It’s here!  The 34th annual PNC Christmas Price Index, that is.

The PNC Christmas Price index reports the cost to purchase the gifts included in the classic holiday song “The 12 Days of Christmas”.

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

The only increases in the included items are –

* a 5.2% jump in the cost of the pear tree in which a partridge resides, due to a limited supply of larger more mature trees,

* a 10% increase in the cost of gold rings, due to increased demand and popularity, and

* a 2% pay hike for leaping lords, who apparently have a better union than musicians, milking maids and dancing ladies.

The chief economist of a bank in Philadelphia, which eventually became part of PNC, began estimating the cost of the 12 Christmas gifts in 1984 as a holiday client letter. This year's price is 83 percent higher than the inaugural report 33 years ago.

For those who prefer the convenience of online shopping the Index also calculates the cost of the gifts purchased on the internet.  As online costs are higher due to travel and shipping, the total cost is $45,096, $10,538 more than “in store” purchases.  The internet Index reflects a $493.90 or 1.1% increase over 2016.

The actual true cost of every gift in the song (with each previous day’s purchases repeated over the 12 days) is $157,558 in store and $204,848.65 online.


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