Each year, PNC Wealth Management prices out the items from the iconic song “The 12 days of Christmas.” Believe it or not, 364 gifts are given in that song by the end of the 12th day. This year, PNC has declared the most expensive year ever for the gifts. The grand total of $107,300 is up more than 6% from last year. That doesn’t quite mesh with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) current inflation rate of 2.2%. Why the big spread, you ask? If you recall from the song, it is very fowl- and poultry-heavy. From previous commentaries, we know that feed prices (read: corn) soared this year on the back of a global drought. High feed prices are reflected in high fowl and poultry costs. Another culprit? How about those five golden rings! Gold is up over 10% from last year. Two items that saw little change were those that involved human labor: dancing ladies and milk maids. It is readily apparent that labor costs have remained stagnant with unemployment.

For those of your who needed a refresher, here’s the song to get you in the holiday spirit:

Twelve drummers drumming
Eleven pipers piping
Ten lords a-leaping
Nine ladies dancing
Eight maids a-milking
Seven swans a-swimming
Six geese a-laying
Five golden rings
Four calling birds
Three French hens
Two turtle doves
And a partridge in a pear tree!

1947-11/27/2012