As it does each year at this time PNC has released its annual Christmas Price Index, which PNC describes as. –
“A light-hearted take on the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) Consumer Price Index, which measures the average change in prices consumers pay for goods and services over time, the PNC version applies its own analysis to procuring True Love's 12 perfect gifts at Christmas.”
The Christmas Price Index was first introduced by a PNC predecessor bank in Philadelphia in 1984.
The total cost of the items in “The 12 Days of Christmas” for 2021 is $41,205.58, a 5.7% increase in the $38,993.59 the same gifts cost in 2019.
The index compares current year’s prices to the 2019 costs instead of 2020 because, as PNC Asset Management Group’s chief investment officer Amanda Agati explains –
"Comparing 2019 data is a better gauge of the impacts of inflation, before the pandemic's effects took hold of the global economy. We are trying to normalize the comparison by excluding a-once-in-a-century pandemic that had an outsized impact on last year's data."
PNC tells us –
“The largest price increases this year come in the exotic pet categories, with large spikes seen in Six Geese-a-Laying (57%), Two Turtles Doves (50%) and Three French Hens (40%). Inflation is fueling higher costs for raising the birds through higher food and labor prices.”
While dancing ladies, milking maids and leaping lords did not receive a raise, the cost of the musicians in the group – pipers and drummers – was up 7.1%, I expect thanks to the American Federation of Musicians.
Sadly the milking maids continue to be poorly paid – due to the $7.25 minimum wage.
PNC also calculates the cost of the true love’s gifts if purchased online, which is $45,599.09 for 2021 - $4,393.51 more than brick and mortar retail purchases (10.7%) and $3,340.18 more than 2019 (7.9%).
And the index determines the total cost of items bestowed by a True Love who repeats all the song's verses. Purchasing all 364 gifts will cost $179,454.19, 5.4% more than 2019 - $210,627.12, or 8.3% more, for internet purchases.