'Christmas Price Index' up 5 percent

Written by Craig Layne and Radio Pennsylvania | Dec 1, 2012 8:32 AM

(Pittsburgh) -- The so-called "Christmas Price Index" is up 5 percent this year.

Pittsburgh-based PNC issues the annual list of the cost of items named in the song "The Twelve Days of Christmas."

Michael Ball, a Vice President at PNC Wealth Management, says while the list is meant to be humorous, it also provides some economic insight.

"When you look at it in context with the overall Consumer Price Index and you strip out the most volatile item in the Christmas Index, which was the seven swans-a-swimming, then you come up with a 2 percent increase, so it's really in line with most of the consumer prices," Ball says.

Ball says the swans are so expenseive because PNC bases their price on rare "trumpeter" swans.

He says, more importantly, the uneven nature of the prices on the list highlights the country's struggling economic recovery.

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