Is The Economy Feeling The Holiday Spirit? PNC Christmas Price Index Surges
4.8 Percent In 2012
- Prices for Six Items in "The Twelve Days of Christmas" Song on Par With
2011, But Drought Causes Swans and Geese Prices to Soar -
PITTSBURGH, Nov. 26, 2012
PITTSBURGH, Nov. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --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.
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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.
The CPI increased by a modest 3.5 percent last year following a 9.2 percent
leap in 2010.
The 29^th annual survey results were revealed this morning on an enhanced
website (www.pncchristmaspriceindex.com) that includes an innovative worldwide
gift hunt using the web. The website 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 of the PNC CPI 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
Inflation Flag and Index Highlights
Much like the government's CPI, the PNC CPI also measures a Core Index – up a
modest 2.6 percent this year - that excludes the Swans, which tend to be the
most volatile in the index. Swans rose by 11.1 percent, continuing the
momentum of last year's 12.5 percent increase, to $7,000.
Other Key Components Include:
oSix items (the Partridge, Two Turtle Doves, Four Calling Birds, Eight
Maids-A-Milking, Nine Ladies Dancing and 10 Lords-A-Leaping) remained the
same price as last year.
oSounding an Increase: The prices for 11 Pipers Piping ($2,562.00) and 12
Drummers Drumming ($2,775.50) advanced this year, both up 5.5 percent.
oPear Tree: Economists report that housing prices may have bottomed and
this trend is reflected in the PNC CPI as the home to the Partridge jumped
11.8 percent to $189.99. The Three French Hens were up 10.0 percent and
the Five Gold Rings, which soared 16.3 percent, played catch up with the
dramatic rise in gold prices in 2011.
oMaids-a-Milking: As the only unskilled laborers in the PNC CPI, the price
for the eight Maids-a-Milking is represented by the minimum wage. With
the minimum wage flat at $7.25 per hour, hiring the maids this year will
not increase labor costs.
The PNC CPI's sources include retailers, the National Aviary in Pittsburgh and
the Philadelphia-based Philadanco and Pennsylvania Ballet Company.
Cyber Prices: The Cost of Convenience
For those True Loves who prefer the convenience of shopping online, PNC Wealth
Management calculates the cost of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" gifts
purchased on the Internet.
This year, the trends identified in the traditional index are repeated in the
Internet version. True Loves will pay a grand total of $40,440 to buy the
items online. That is 1.5 percent more expensive than last year and almost
$580 more than this year's traditional index.
"In general, Internet prices are higher than their non-Internet counterparts
because of premium shipping costs for birds and the convenience factor of
shopping online," Dunigan said.
Special Present: Updated Website
For a historical look at PNC's index, the updated website can be viewed at
www.pncchristmaspriceindex.com. The site includes an interactive scavenger
hunt where visitors take a trip around the world to locate the 12 gifts of
Each year, educators across the country use the Christmas Price Index to teach
economic trends to middle and high school students. With that in mind, this
year's site includes interactive activities, annual results and PNC CPI trends
in a Flash presentation, MP3 downloads and much more.
Educators who visit the site will also find lesson plans on the Christmas
Price Index from The Stock Market Game™ (SMG), a program of the Securities
Industry and Financial Markets Association Foundation for Investor Education
(www.sifma.org/education). The enhanced activities are specially designed to
help students identify economic trends and to project their impact on this
year's Index, giving them the opportunity to make predictions and check their
success against actual results. SMG is America's premier educational stock
market simulation. Available in all 50 states for grades 4-12, the SMG program
teaches children core academic and investment skills.
To view or download broadcast quality video and other multimedia assets
related to this announcement, visit http://pnc.thedigitalcenter.com. In
addition, follow #PNCcpi on Twitter.
The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC) is one of the nation's
largest diversified financial services organizations providing retail and
business banking; residential mortgage banking; specialized services for
corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate
finance and asset-based lending; wealth management and asset management.
Follow @PNCNews on Twitter for breaking news, updates and announcements from
[PNC CHRISTMAS PRICE INDEX TABLE FOLLOWS]
2012 PNC Christmas Price Index^®
2011 2012 2012/11 2011 2012 2012/11
One Partridge in $ $ 10.8% $ $ 0.0%
a Pear Tree 184.99 204.99 242.44 242.44
Partridge $ $ 0.0% $ $ 0.0%
15.00 15.00 80.00 80.00
Pear Tree $ $ 11.8% $ $ 0.0%
169.99 189.99 162.44 162.44
Two Turtle Doves $ $ 0.0% $ $ -18.0%
125.00 125.00 445.00 365.00
Three French Hen $ $ 10.0% $ $ 5.0%
150.00 165.00 300.00 315.00
Four Calling $ $ 0.0% $ $ 5.8%
Birds 519.96 519.96 520.00 550.00
Five Gold Rings $ $ 16.3% $ $ 25.0%
645.00 750.00 699.70 874.75
Six $ $ 29.6% $ $ 0.0%
Geese-a-Laying 162.00 210.00 1,386.60 1,386.60
Seven $ $ 11.1% $ $ 4.2%
Swans-a-Swimming 6,300.00 7,000.00 10,412.50 10,850.00
Eight $ $ 0.0% $ $ 0.6%
Maids-a-Milking 58.00 58.00 337.92 339.84
Nine Ladies $ $ 0.0% $ $ 0.0%
Dancing 6,294.03 6,294.03 8,322.55 8,322.55
10 $ $ 0.0% $ $ 0.0%
Lords-a-Leaping 4,766.70 4,766.70 13,373.35 13,373.35
11 Pipers Piping $ $ 5.5% $ $ 0.0%
2,427.60 2,562.00 2,200.00 2,200.00
12 Drummers $ $ 5.5% $ $ 0.0%
Drumming 2,629.90 2,775.50 1,620.00 1,620.00
Total Christmas $ $ 4.8% $ $ 1.5%
Price Index 24,263.18 25,431.18 39,860.06 40,439.53
True cost of $ $ $ $
Christmas in 101,119.84 107,300.24 6.1% 174,382.93 177,957.93 2.1%
"Core" index, $ $ 2.6% $ $ 0.5%
excluding swans 17,963.18 18,431.18 29,447.56 29,589.53
SOURCE PNC Wealth Management
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