The PNC Christmas Price Index® shows the current cost of one set of each of the gifts given in the song
"The Twelve Days of Christmas."
The Partridge was in high demand this year, leading to a higher price. The Pear Tree’s price also went up, due to a modest cost-of-living increase.
Seems people couldn’t get enough Turtle Doves this year; prices increased as supply couldn’t keep up with demand.
It’s been a quiet year for the French Hens. They didn’t see any change in price due to steady supply and demand compared to 2014.
For the Calling Birds, it was business as usual in 2015. Their price was unchanged, selling right at market value. No discount needed.
The price of gold dropped this year, but Gold Rings stayed the same, thanks to steady demand for classic gold wedding bands.
After a wild jump in price in 2014, the Geese-a-Laying cooled off this year, with prices staying unchanged at $360.
Swans aren’t cheap, but hey, at least they aren’t getting more expensive. Despite inflation, the Swans didn’t increase in price from last year.
This year the Maids remained steady at $58. No surprise, since their price is based on federal minimum wage, which hasn’t changed since 2009.
The price of the PHILADANCO! dancers didn’t change this year. They’ve updated their moves, but not their price, due to waning demand.
The Lords-a-Leaping who call the Pennsylvania Ballet home have good reason to leap. Their price increased by 3% due to rising salaries.
It’s been a quiet year for the Pipers. Weakening demand meant no change in price for their music, which held steady at $2,635.20.
The Drummers marched to the same beat as last year. Uncertainty about future demand for their skills kept their price unchanged at $2,854.80.
*Revised: 2014 traditional price adjusted to better reflect open-market pricing.
The PNC Christmas Price Index® shows the current cost for one set of each of the gifts given in the song "The Twelve Days of Christmas."
It began 32 years ago when the chief economist at PNC Bank decided to figure out how much it would cost to buy each of the gifts. Little did he know, he was starting a holiday tradition that continues to this day.
The PNC Christmas Price Index is similar to the U.S. Consumer Price Index, which measures changes in prices of goods and services like housing, food, clothing, transportation and more that reflect the spending habits of the average American.
The goods and services in the PNC Christmas Price Index are far more whimsical, of course. And most years, the price changes closely mirror those in the U.S. Consumer Price Index. It’s a fun way to measure consumer spending and trends in the economy. So, even if Pipers Piping or Geese-a-Laying didn’t make your gift list this year, you can still learn a lot by checking out how their prices have increased and decreased over the years.
It all started 32 years ago as a way to engage clients of PNC’s predecessor, Provident National Bank in Philadelphia, during the traditionally light holiday weeks. What hatched as the creative brainchild of the bank’s then-chief economist has since grown into one of PNC’s most popular and anticipated economic reports.
TRENDS: HOW THE INDEX HAS CHANGED SINCE 1984
Over the years, trends have emerged, and the PNC Christmas Price Index® (PNC CPI) has often increased or decreased at a rate consistent with the U.S. Consumer Price Index, a measure of inflation produced by the U.S. Department of Labor. Three factors have largely driven changes in the index over the past 32 years:
Meet the people who keep this economic tradition alive year after year.
In his role as chief investment officer for PNC Wealth Management®, James Dunigan is responsible for the investment strategy, equity research, equity management, investment services and investment advisor research groups for the open architecture platform of PNC Wealth Management. Dunigan is also responsible for the development and execution of investment policies, strategies and tactics. “The Christmas Price Index reflects the lighter side of the trends we follow and is indicative of the high volume of customized research we do for our clients,” says Dunigan.
Rebekah McCahan serves as a member of the Investment Strategy team for PNC Wealth Management and Institutional Investments. She is responsible for developing asset allocation models, directing asset allocation changes, analyzing new investment instruments for consideration in client accounts, and helping to create quarterly and monthly investment outlooks and reviews. She is also responsible for gathering prices for the annual PNC Christmas Price Index®.
Bill Stone is executive vice president and chief investment strategist for PNC Wealth Management. He is responsible for leading PNC’s Investment Strategy team of analysts in monitoring many factors that influence the direction of domestic and international financial markets. He is responsible for defining the asset allocations and portfolio strategies throughout the organization to advise individual and institutional investors.
The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. ("PNC") provides investment and wealth management, fiduciary services, FDIC-insured banking products and services and lending and borrowing of funds through its subsidiary, PNC Bank, National Association, which is a Member FDIC, and provides certain fiduciary and agency services through PNC Delaware Trust Company. PNC does not provide legal, tax or accounting advice.
What’s the difference between the Total Cost of Christmas and the True Cost of Christmas? Who figures out the prices for the PNC Christmas Price Index? The answers to all these questions and more can be found here.
For more information, see the 2015 Press Release.
*Reflects the revised data.
*Till with Bell by Benboncan from Freesound.org
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Dear Educators and Students
The PNC Christmas Price Index® is a simple, yet entertaining way to introduce basic economics to classrooms around the country. By pricing out each gift from “The Twelve Days of Christmas” year after year, we are able to provide a snapshot of our current economy, lessons on inflation and other economic trends.
This year, we wanted to give the Index a new home. So we created the Gingerbread Branch: the world’s first real-life bank made out of gingerbread, where the twelve gifts will be brought to life like never before. If you’re in the Philadelphia area, come visit the branch at Penn’s Landing, December 4–6, or take a virtual tour with your students at PNCGingerbreadBranch.com. Learning about the economy has never tasted so good!
The Stock Market Game™ is a program of the SIFMA Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit educational organization dedicated to fostering knowledge and understanding of the financial markets for individuals of all backgrounds.
Check back in November for the 2016 SIFMA educational activities from The Stock Market Game.