The cost of buying your true love all the gifts named in the holiday song "The 12 Days of Christmas" has shot up in 2013, according to a holiday-themed index, significantly outpacing the rate of U.S. inflation.
Buying the presents – which include three French hens, five gold rings and 11 pipers piping - would cost a whopping $27,393.17 this year, analysis PNC Wealth Management revealed.
It marked a 7.7 percent – or almost $2,000 – increase on 2012, and is the largest rise since 2010, when the index shot up 9.2 percent.
By comparison, the U.S. government's Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 1 percent in the 12 months to October, and the so-called core index (which excludes volatile food and energy prices) was 1.7 percent higher over the year.
"We were surprised to see such a large increase from a year ago, given the overall benign inflation rate in the U.S., but the dancers in the index took a huge leap this year to play catch-up from paltry increases the previous few years," Jim Dunigan, managing executive of Investments of PNC Wealth Management said in a press release.
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The biggest riser on the index was the nine ladies dancing, which increased in price by 20 percent over the year, coming in at $7,552.84 in 2013. The cost of 10 lords-a-leaping also shot up - 10 percent to $5,243.37- and four calling birds were 15 percent more expensive in 2013, costing $599.96.
Meanwhile, the cost of a partridge in a pear tree was the only item to fall in price over the year, slipping 2.4 percent to $199.99.
The array of gifts now cost 116 percent more than they did when the index was founded in 1984. By comparison, U.S. CPI inflation is up 125 percent over the same period.
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"While there are exceptions in given years, what's most interesting about the index's history is that since the beginning, year-over-year increases have averaged 2.9 percent, which is exactly the same number as the U.S. inflation index," Dunigan added.
To compile the index, PNC Wealth Management gets quotes from organizations such as the National Aviary in Pittsburgh, which provided prices for the partridge, doves, geese and swans.
The modern dance company PHILADANCO offered the price of the ladies dancing, and the Pennsylvania Ballet gave a quote for the lords-a-leaping.
The maids-a-milking are considered the only unskilled laborers in the Index, and as such their cost reflects the U.S. minimum wage.
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