Tuesday 6 December 2016

The 12 (costly) Days of Christmas

Published 28/11/2011 | 11:07

Christmas gifts - partridges and pear trees are up this year
Christmas gifts - partridges and pear trees are up this year

Rocketing prices of partridges, pear trees and turtle doves has sent the cost of buying every item in the carol The Twelve Days of Christmas soaring.

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The 364 items repeated across all the verses would cost 101,119 dollars (£64,500), an increase of 4.4% over last year, according to an annual US survey.

The Christmas Price Index compiled by PNC Wealth Management showed that those with the money to spend would end up with 12 drummers drumming, 22 pipers piping, 30 lords-a-leaping, 36 ladies dancing, 40 maids-a-milking, 42 swans-a-swimming, 42 geese-a-laying, 40 gold rings, 36 calling birds, 30 French hens, 22 turtle doves, and 12 partridges in pear trees.

But buying just one set of each verse in the song will cost 24,263 dollars (£15,260) this year - a moderate 3.5% rise.

Eleven pipers piping will set you back 2,427 dollars (£1,566), but that is a relative bargain compared to seven swans-a-swimming, which cost 6,300 dollars (£4,066), a 12.5% rise over last year.

Jim Dunigan, managing executive of investment for PNC Wealth Management, said the core rate of increase is less than half the 9.2% jump last year.

Five gold rings even declined a bit to 645 dollars (£416), from 650 dollars (£419) last year.

But last-minute shoppers who turn to the internet may be in for some surprises. The core list that costs about 24,000 dollars (£15,000) in shops will come to 39,860 dollars (£25,726) online - a whopping 16.1% increase over internet prices last year. The high cost of shipping live birds explains some of the difference.

Six items did not go up in cost this year: French hens, calling birds, gold rings, maids-a-milking, ladies dancing and lords-a-leaping. Pipers piping and drummers drumming rose 3%. The partridge is still the cheapest item, at 15 dollars (£9.68), and swans the most expensive.

www.pncchristmaspriceindex.com(price index)

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