Archives for posts with tag: 12 Days Of Christmas

Like eggnog, ugly Christmas sweaters and cookies so bad even the birds won’t touch them, it’s back. The 12 Days of Christmas price list.

Hope you’ve saved those pennies from last year. These gifts this year are not cheap by any means. Started 30 years ago, the PNC Christmas Price Index was created as a way to engage clients and has since become one of PNC’s most popular and anticipated economic reports. PNC is a highly diversified and growing financial services organization spanning the retail, business and corporate markets. The PNC Christmas Price Index is available at:

A price index measures price changes through a representative group of individual items. The PNC Christmas Price Index is an index of the current costs of the goods and services listed in the classic holiday song The Twelve Days of Christmas. Calculated by PNC Wealth Management, the PNC Christmas Price Index reflects changes in the economy in the same way the Consumer Consumer Price Index issued by the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics does.
The Consumer Price Index measures the change in the prices of goods and services reflecting the spending habits of the “average” American. It includes goods and services such as food, housing clothing, and utilities. It’s percent change is widely used as a measure of inflation. If inflation is higher than expected it may cause the stock market to become bearish.

There are two purposes for the PNC Christmas Price Index. The secondary purpose is to entertain and have people imagine if they could purchase the items in the song, while the primary purpose of these activities is to use the PNC Christmas Price Index as an investor tool by examining the impact of the cost for goods and services on the performance of securities in The Stock Market Game portfolio. Think of it as an economics lesson that you don’t have to sit through a lecture for.

As for the gifts in the song? The price tag last year was $34,363.49. This year, get ready for sticker shock. Those same items will now run you $34,558.65, up 0.6 percent. That’s not a lot but still they don’t come cheap.

Let’s start with that duo, the partridge and the pear tree.

The bird and the tree last year? $209.99. This year? $219.95. However… if you were to purchase them separately, the cost of the bird stayed the same at $20, while the pear tree will run you $199.95 (last year, that tree would have cost $189.99. There’s a bright side to that. In a few years, youill be eating pears like it’s going out of style.)

Now for the two turtle doves, the three French hens and the four calling birds? Their prices did not change. The turtle doves cost $375, the French hens are $181.50 (and they are a food source if you want Chicken soup) and the calling birds are $599.96. 2017 was a decent year to be a bird.

The five gold rings had the biggest jump from 2016. Those rings last year cost $750, this year they cost $825, a 10-percent increase. Gold tends to fluctuate from day to day price-wise, so there is some method to that increase.

The six geese? They stayed the course, costing $360. Again, you have another food source with the geese. While goose is somewhat fatty, if cooked properly, it’s pretty tasty; if not, you’ll actually have a goose to play “duck, duck, goose.” As for the seven swans, they stayed the same as well, costing $13,125. Swans are somewhat of a good investment and they mate for life.

Now for the humans in the song. Of the 50 humans mentioned, only one group got a pay raise. The 10 Lords? They’re going to get a little more in the pay envelope this year. Last year, the lords took home a price tag of $5,508.70. It’s a good year to be a leaping lord as they’ll cost $5,618.90. Granted, they’ll be in a somewhat higher tax bracket but it’s a lot more dead presidents in their wallets. That’s the good news.

Now for the bad. The milk maids ($58), dancing ladies ($7,522.84), pipers ($2,708.40) and drummers ($2,934.10) will have to work a little hard next year if they want coin in their purse in 2018.

For all the gifts mentioned in the song, if you were to go into a brick and mortar store, this year’s price tag is a whopping $34,558.65, up 0.6 from last year’s $34,363.49. The true cost of everything is $157,588, up 0.7 (last year’s price was $156,507.88). The core index, if you left the swans out of the discussion, would cost $21,433.65, up 0.9 percent from last year’s $21,238.49. The price if you went on line? For all the items in question, last year they’d run you $44,602.53 (2017? $45,096.43) and we’re not sure if Amazon will deliver next-day.

The 12 Days of Christmas are pricey… but if you save your pennies or win the lottery, you can shower your true love with all those gifts.


It’s baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack! Did ya miss it?

Hope you saved your pennies in 2016.

Everyone that has listened to or sung the Christmas song “12 Days of Christmas.” But has anyone wondered how much all those gifts (including the animals and the people) would cost if you could actually purchase them?

Wonder no more. Get ready to write that check.

According to PNC Bank, the grand total for all the gifts (humans and animals included) will cost you a whopping total of

That’s for all the gifts in the song.

The Pittsburgh-based bank began the tradition 30 years ago as a way to measure inflation. But according to the bank, many middle and high school teachers also use the Christmas Price Index to teach students about inflation and economic trends. Most of the measurements mirror those used in the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ U.S. Consumer Price Index, and even show similar growth patterns most of the time.

Of the 12 items measured by the index, eight prices remained the same as last year. Those that increased were the two turtle doves (+29.3%) due to a “lack of availability,” according to the PNC.

There is some history in this price index. A PNC predecessor bank in Philadelphia began estimating the cost of the 12 Christmas gifts in 1984 as a holiday client letter. This year’s price is 82 percent higher than the inaugural report 33 years ago. As part of its annual tradition, PNC also tabulates the “True Cost of Christmas,” which is the totalcost of items bestowed by a “true love” who repeats all the song’s verses.

Two sets of humans in the song did somewhat well this year. 2016 was a good year to be a piper or a drummer as their wages increased from last year. The pipers got a 2.8 percent increase (last year, they would cost you $2,635.20; this year, they’re gonna cost you $2,708.40), while the 12 drummers got a 2.8 percent hike, costing $2,934.10, up from the price tag of $2,854,80. As for the milk maids, the dancing ladies and the leaping lords, they stayed in the same price range as 2015 (the milk maids were $58, the dancing ladies were $7,552.84 and the leaping lords cost $5,508.70).

There are two real bargains in 2016 and one of them is the partridge in a pear tree. The price tag for that duo went down due to a surplus of birds. The bird/tree duo went down in price to $209.99, compared to $214.99, which is 2.3 percent less. As for the seven swans, they stayed the same at $13,125.00.

Here’s a breakdown of each item with last year’s price and this year’s (sales tax, shipping and handling not included)
1 Partridge in a Pear Tree (2015 – $214.99; 2016 – $209.99)
Patridge by itself (2015 – $25; 2015 – $20)
Pear tree by itself (2015 – $189.99; 2016 – $189.99)
Two Turtle Doves (2015 – $290; 2016 – $375)
Three French Hens (2015 – $181.50; 2016 – $181.50)
Four Calling Birds (2015 – $599.96; 2016 – $599.96)
Five Gold Rings (2015 – $750; 2016 – $750)
Six Geese Laying (2015 – $360; 2016 – $360)
Seven Swans (2015 – $13,125; 2016 – $13,125)
Eight Milk Maids (2015 – $58; 2016 – $58)
Nine Dancing Ladies (2015 – $7,552.84; 2016 – $7,552.84)
Ten Leaping Lords (2015 – $5,508.70; 2016 – $5,508.70)
Eleven Pipers (2015 – $2,635.20; 2016 – $2,708.40)
Twelve Drummers (2015 – $2,854.80; 2016 – $2,943.10)

Like we said, the total cost of all the items (364 of them) is $34,363.49 (in 2015, it was $34,130.99). The true cost of all the items ould run you $156,507.88, up 0.7 percent from last year’s price tag of $155,107.18. Now let’s say you don’t want the swans. That’ll run you $21,238.49, up 1.1 percent from 2015, which would have cost you $21,005.99.

Thomas P. Melcher, chief investment officer for PNC Asset Management Group, noted that consumers should consider shopping early to take advantage of this year’s bargains before a potential Federal Reserve rate increase, which will likely raise consumer borrowing costs.

“The economy continues to expand, and it is likely the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates this month or early next year,” Melcher told the Pittsburgh Gazzette and KDKA-TV. “Consumers appear to be cautiously optimistic spenders this year and we’re anticipating a slight improvement in the holiday retail season.”

So save those pennies and get that shopping done. Hold on to the reciept and make sure you understand the return policies.


Break out that piggy bank.

The 12 Days of Christmas are back.

Hope you saved your pennies.

PNC Wealth Management released its analysis about the gifts made famous in the Christmas jingle and the price tag for all the gifts have gone up slightly.

As in $34,130.99, an increase of .6 percent from the $33,933.22 price tag in 2014.

.6 percent’s not a lot. It’s an increase but it’s not a big increase.

According to the Pittsburgh Gazette and KDKA-TV, the price increase was attributed to increased costs for gifts including the partridge in a pear tree, two turtle doves and 10 lords a-leaping. At least someone got a pay raise this year. PNC said that the price tag was the highest to date, which could set some back but it also represented the lowest growth rate in the 32 years of measuring the index.

“While the economy continues to chug along on a sustainable path, low commodity prices are keeping consumer costs down,” said Jim Dunigan, chief investment officer for PNC Asset Management Group. “With only a few items in our index increasing in cost this year, True Loves should be thrilled that they can have their goose and better afford the gas to roast it too.”

Here’s how things break down (The full set of prices:)

Partridge, $25; last year: $20
Pear tree, $190; last year: $188
Two turtle doves, $290; last year: $260
Three French hens, $182; last year: same
Four calling birds (canaries), $600; last year: same
Five gold rings, $750; last year: same
Six geese-a-laying, $360; last year: same
Seven swans a-swimming, $13,125; last year: same
Eight maids a-milking, $58; last year: same
Nine ladies dancing (per performance), $7,553; last year: same
10 lords a-leaping (per performance), $5,508; last year: $5,348
11 pipers piping (per performance), $2,635; last year: same
12 drummers drumming (per performance), $2,855; last year: same

The index is a whimsical way the Pittsburgh-based bank tracks inflation.

“The headline, I think, is that inflation in this economy, with the sort of tepid recovery we’ve seen, is almost nonexistent,” Dunigan said.

While the good news is that the price of consumer goods isn’t rising very much, it also means demand for those goods is down, at least partly due to wage stagnation.

The government’s Consumer Price Index has pegged inflation at about 0.2 percent, Dunigan said.

The only other items to increase in price since last year were a partridge in a pear tree and two turtle doves.

The bird in the bush rose 3.5 percent overall, mostly because partridges now cost $25 each, up from $20, because partridges are increasingly popular as gourmet food. Pear trees inched up from $188 to just under $190.

Turtle doves increased 11.5 percent, from $260 to $290, mostly due to increased grain prices that pushed up feed costs. (Hey, the birds have to eat, ya know!)

The lords a-leaping are more expensive because labor costs increased their price from $5,348 to $5,509. (Since they’re lords and since they do all that leaping, they burn a lot of calories, which means they have to use more protein, hence the pay raise)

PNC calculates the prices from sources including retailers, bird hatcheries and two Philadelphia dance groups, the Pennsylvania Ballet and Philadanco.

A buyer who purchased all the items each time they are mentioned in the song would spend $155,407.18. That’s for 364 items, which comes out to $426.94 an item (shipping, handling and wrapping not included).

So save those pennies and make sure that bank account is up to date. The 12 Days aren’t cheap.

But this year, they’ll cost you a little less.

Just be sure you hang on to the reciept.

(poster courtesy PNC Bank)