PNC’s “12 Days of Christmas” price index

December 9, 2011

Here is a little holiday fun to distract you from your end of the year reports,  projects, and papers.

PNC Financial has been constructing a “12 Days of Christmas Price Index” since 1984. This is a fixed basket price index (like the CPI) in which the basket of good is: 1 partridge (and a pear tree, too, I guess), 2 turtledoves, 3 French hens, etc.

The website for the project is here, but a more concise summary is here.

Some highlights:

  • Overall, the index is up 3.5 percent from last year; the 12-month increase in the CPI for October was exactly 3.5 percent, too. (
  • Similar to the way that the Bureau of Labor Statistics computes a core CPI that doesn’t include the extremely volatile food and energy components, PNC computes a core index that doesn’t include swans. The core 12-days index only rose 0.7 percent.
  • The price of 5 gold rings hasn’t changed much over the year, even though the price of Gold ETFs are up about 30 percent from last December.
  • The goods with the most inflation are partridges and turtledoves, both up 25 percent.
  • The goods with the least inflation are the “calling birds,” whose price fell 13 percent this year.

Posted by Kim Ruhl

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