PNC’s Christmas Price Index shows gift costs from ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ surge (Photo: Reuters)
PNC’s Christmas Price Index shows gift costs from ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ surge (Photo: Reuters)

The cost of gifts based on the classic festive song, The Twelve Days of Christmas, has surged 7.7% in 2013 following a rise in prices for ladies dancing, pipers piping, and drummers drumming.

According to the PNC Wealth Management's 30th annual tongue-in-cheek economic analysis, based on the array of gifts in the holiday classic, the price tag for the PNC Christmas Price Index rose by the largest increase since 2010 when the index jumped 9.2%.

This equates to $27,393.17 in 2013, up $1,192 from 2012.

PNC's CPI's increase outpaced the government's Consumer Price Index, which stands at 1.0% for the past 12 months through to September.

The core index, removing volatile food and energy prices, is uncharacteristically higher at 1.7%.

Nine ladies dancing vaulted with a 20% rise this year, while Lords-a-leaping jumped 10%, combining for a $1,736 increase from 2012.

PNC said that the partridge, two turtle doves, three French hens, five gold rings, six geese-a-Laying, seven swans-a-swimming and eight maids-a-milking, all remained the same price as last year.

However, the prices for 11 pipers piping came in at $2,635.20 and 12 drummers drumming at $2,854.80, advancing by 2.9%.

"While there are exceptions in given years, what's most interesting about the index's history is that since the beginning, year-over-year increases have averaged 2.9% , which is exactly the same number as the US inflation index," said Dunigan, managing executive, Investments of PNC Wealth Management.

"We were surprised to see such a large increase from a year ago, given the overall benign inflation rate in the US, but the dancers in the index, which was launched in 1984, took a huge leap this year to play catch up from paltry increases the previous few years."

The PNC CPI's sources include retailers, the National Aviary in Pittsburgh and the Philadelphia-based PHILADANCO and Pennsylvania Ballet Company.