GOOD MORNING DELMARVA – 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.
This year, the PNC CPI's increase outpaced the government's Consumer Price Index, which stands at 2.0 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 James Gauthier, Senior Investment Advisor 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.
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," Gauthier said.
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.