Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Twelve days. Low inflation keeps true-love's costs low

In Australia, inflation is just 1.5 per cent.

While some prices are climbing (cigarettes cost 5 per cent more than they did a year ago) others are plummeting. The electronics chain Dick Smith has cut the value of its stock 20 per cent ahead of a Christmas discounting spree.

But in the United States inflation is far lower, so low that price of the items named in the song Twelve Days of Christmas has climbed only 0.6 per cent.

It's the lowest increase since 2002.

PNC Asset Management has been computing the index since 1984. Especially sensitive to changes in the price of gold, musicians and poultry, at times it has jumped 16 per cent in a single year. But this year the price of gold rings is steady, and most wages haven't moved.

Costing no more than they did a year ago are the eight maids a milking, the nine ladies dancing, the eleven pipers piping and the twelve drummers drumming.

Only the ten lords-a-leaping have scored a pay rise. Sourced from the Pennsylvania Ballet, they are asking for an extra 3 per cent...

French hens, calling birds, and geese-a-laying all cost no more than a year ago, although the price of partridges has soared 25 per cent and the price of turtle doves has climbed 11.5 per cent.

"While the economy continues to chug along on a sustainable path, low commodity prices are keeping consumer costs down," said PNC chief investment officer Jim Dunigan in a statement. "True-loves should be thrilled that they can have their goose and better afford the gas to roast it."

The total cost of the true-love's basket is $US2855. Buying the items over the internet brings it down to $US1620.


2015 PNC Christmas Price Index

☆ Partridge: $25 (up 25%)

☆ Pear tree: $189.99 (up1.2%)

☆ A partridge in a pear tree: $214.99 (up 11.5%)

☆ Two turtle doves: $290 (0.0%)

☆ Three french hens: $181.50 (0.0%)

☆ Four calling birds: $599.96 (0.0%)

☆ Five gold rings: $750.00 ((0.0%)

☆ Six geese-a-laying $360 (0.0%)

☆ Seven swans-a-swimming $13,125 (0.0%)

☆ Eight maids-a-milking: $58 (0.0%)

☆ Nine ladies dancing: $7,552.84 (0.0%)

☆Ten lords-a-leaping: $5,508.70 (up 3%)

☆ Eleven pipers piping: $2,635.20 (0.0%)

☆ Twelve drummers drumming: $2,854.80 (0.0%)

Total: $2855 (US dollars)

Source: PNC Asset Management

In The Age and Sydney Morning Herald