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Will Christmas cost more this year than last?

Submitted Tue, 11/27/2012 - 7:15am by Andy Alm

PITTSBURGH – An improving economy coupled with a severe drought
that caused increased feed costs for large birds generated a 4.8 percent surge in the 2012 PNC
Christmas Price Index, the whimsical economic analysis by PNC Wealth Management.
Based on the gifts in the holiday classic, “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” the price tag
for the PNC CPI is $25,431.18 in 2012, $1,168 more than last year. Last year the CPI
increased by a modest 3.5 percent increase last year and in 2010 it leaped 9.2 percent.
The 29th annual survey results were revealed this morning on an enhanced web site
(www.pncchristmaspriceindex.com) that includes an innovative worldwide gift hunt using the
web. The web site also reflects PNC’s commitment to education by teaching economic trends
through the PNC CPI.
This year, the PNC CPI’s increase outpaced the government’s Consumer Price Index,
which stands at 2.2 for the past 12 months through September. The core index, removing
volatile food and energy prices, is also at 2.0 percent.
“The rise the PNC CPI index is larger than expected considering the modest economic
growth we've had over the past 12 months,” said Jim Dunigan, managing executive of
investments for PNC Wealth Management. “Despite some weak spots in the economy,
consumer balance sheets are improving along with consumer confidence, which means this
may still be a spirited holiday season.”
As part of its annual tradition, 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 is the most expensive year ever: very thoughtful True Loves
must fork over $107,300.24 for all 364 gifts, an even more generous jump of 6.1 percent
increase compared to last year.