For more than 30 years, PNC has calculated the prices of the twelve gifts from the classic carol “The Twelve Day of Christmas.” The result is the PNC Christmas Price Index, a unique and whimsical holiday tradition that makes learning about the economy fun.
The cost of this year’s CPI rose ever so slightly, driven by the price increases for the Turtle Doves due to lack of availability, and wage increases for the Drummers and Pipers.
A PARTRIDGE IN A PEAR TREE
This gift’s price decline from last year is fully due to the Partridge which fell 20% from $25 to $20, due to oversupply of game birds. The Pear Tree will set you back $189.99 – the same as last year.
TWO TURTLE DOVES
Supply couldn’t seem to keep up with the demand this year for these popular lovebirds! This gift experienced the biggest spike in price from last year, compared to the rest of the gifts.
THREE FRENCH HENS
It’s been a quiet year for the French Hens. There was no change in their price, due to steady supply and demand in the past year.
FOUR CALLING BIRDS
It was business as usual this year for these feathered friends. Their price was unchanged, selling right at market value. No discount needed to stimulate sales.
FIVE GOLD RINGS
It’s been a good year to buy gold rings, as retailers kept prices steady, despite the price fluctuations in gold commodity prices this past year.
Geese-a-Laying just laid back this year as the goose market became stable, leading to their price staying the same, as well. In recent years, the goose market had fluctuated due to the avian flu.
Although historically the most unpredictable gift of the bunch, the swans stayed the same price as last year. Most bird gifts were flat this year, as demand stayed the same.
The eight Maids-A-Milking are chugging along at the same price as last year, reflecting the stagnant federal minimum wage, which hasn’t changed since 2009.
NINE LADIES DANCING
Despite a rising demand for dancers, dance companies plan to wait until they are more confident in the strength of the economy before they raise wages and thus, prices.
Salaries for Lords-a-Leaping rose in 2015, but not this year. Therefore, the price to hire them for your true love has also stayed the same.
ELEVEN PIPERS PIPING
This is the first year that the Pipers’ wages have increased since 2013, so the price to hire them was driven up, as well. You’ll have to spend a tad more this year to hire them for your true love.
TWELVE DRUMMERS DRUMMING
The Drummers drummed up some demand in the past year! This led to an increase in their price for hire, which is good news for the drummers, since their wages hadn’t increased in three years.
TRUE COST OF CHRISTMAS IN SONG
This represents the cumulative cost of all the gifts when you count each repetition in the song (364 gifts).
“CORE” INDEX (EXCLUDING SWANS)
This version of the CPI removes the most unpredictable gift from the index – the Swans-a-Swimming.