Santa Claus better start saving the benjamins this holiday season as PNC’s Christmas Price Index has revealed a 9.2% increase this year according to a December press release.

Christmas pricesBased off of the popular winter song, “The 12 Days of Christmas” the Wealth Management department of PNC bank has done a comparative analysis of the cost of each holiday gift. In the 27th year of the survey PNC has found that the 12 items come out to a grand total of $23,439 which is a $1,974 increase from last year. The jump from 2009 to 2010 marks the second highest increase in the history of the survey behind the 2002 to 2003 rise of 16%.

Factors Behind the Jump in Price

According to managing executive of investments for PNC Wealth Management, James Dunigan, “This year’s jump in the PNC CPI can be attributed to rising gold commodity prices, represented by the Five Gold Rings which went up by 30 percent, in addition to higher costs for wages and benefits impacting some entertainers.”

Gift2009 Cost2010 Cost% Change
One Partridge in a Pear Tree$159.99$161.991.3%
Pear Tree$149.99$149.990.0%
Two Turtle Doves$55.98$100.0078.6%
Three French Hens$45.00$150.00233.3%
Four Calling Birds$599.96$599.960.0%
Five Gold Rings$499.95$649.9530.0%
Six Geese-a-Laying$150.00$150.000.0%
Seven Swans-a-Swimming$5,250.00$5,6006.7%
Eight Maids-a-Milking$58.00$58.000.0%
Nine Ladies Dancing$5,473.07$6,294.0315.0%
10 Lords-a-Leaping$4,413.61$4,766.708.0%
11 Pipers Piping$2,284.80$2,356.203.1%
12 Drummers Drumming$2,475.20$2,552.553.1%
Total Christmas Price Index$21,465.20$23,439.389.2%

The Milkmaids were considered unskilled laborers for purposes of this research. Since the federal minimum wage remained the same this year — for the first time in three years — their percent change remained at 0% along with the pear tree and four calling birds.

PNC uses a light-hearted and timely method of analyzing pricing indexes over the year. Along with a break down of the costs, PNC has also created an interactive pop-up book to illustrate the Christmas Price Index trends from the past 27 years. There are also activities, lessons and games featured on the website to teach students about financial literacy.

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