PNC’s Christmas Price Index

PNC CPI Broadcast

PNC’s Christmas Price Index for 2008 is now available. The index, compiled by PNC Wealth Management,  monitors the cost of the gifts sent by True Love  in the song The Twelve Days of Christmas. The Christmas Price Index (CPI) team, comprising James P. Dunigan, Rebekah McCahan and E. William Stone, have been tracking the index since 1984.

According to the 24th annual survey, the cost of the PNC CPI is  now $21,080, $1,573 more than in 2007 .  PNC comment in their press release:

“The seven swans a-swimming proved to be a driver of this year’s index, carrying the greatest weight with a whopping 33.3 percent increase due to their scarcity. True Loves will spend $5,600 this year for Swans compared with $4,200 in 2007….

Two other costs in the CPI dropped this year: three French hens and Six geese-a-laying. This year the hens cost $30, a drop of 33.3 percent over last year, and the geese cost $240, falling one-third. Four calling birds remained steady, costing $599.96, the same as a year ago.”

An interactive chart allows researches to view the total CPI as well as individual items over the years.  More detailed and historical information is available including a spreadsheet containing data going back to 1984.

Christmas Price Index Interactive Chart
Christmas Price Index Interactive Chart

For True Loves who prefer to shop over the Internet,  PNC Wealth Management calculates that they will pay a grand total of $31,957 , almost $11,000 more than in the traditional index. According to Dunigan:

“In general, Internet prices are higher than their non-Internet counterparts because of shipping costs for birds and the convenience factor of shopping online”

PNC Wealth Management also tabulates the True Cost of Christmas, which is the total cost of items gifted by a True Love who repeats all of the song’s verses. This holiday season,  True Loves will pay more than ever before – $86,609 – for all 364 items, up 10.9 per cent  from $78,100 in 2007.