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Christmas Has Never Been This Expensive

Christmas Has Never Been This Expensive

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

One Pricey Partridge

The cost of Christmas is ever increasing. Inflation pushing up prices over the past years is making the holidays a more expensive period for American households.

Even the poor old partridge in a pear tree is not immune to this. The price of the twelve gifts described in the classic song “The 12 Days of Christmas” is at a record high of $46,730, according to PNC’s (PNC) 2023 Christmas Price Index

A Tale of Two Indexes

That number represents a 2.7% increase versus last year, reflecting persistently high inflation, despite well over a year of aggressive policy by the Federal Reserve to curb rising costs.

The Christmas Price Index is not to be confused with the Consumer Price Index that the Labor Department publishes every month. But while the latter reflects a broad basket of goods, the Christmas gauge focuses on discretionary purchases.

On the plus side, the Christmas Index is lower than inflation, which was up 3.2% year-over-year in October, and 7.7% over the same period last year.

Silver Linings

Even though costs have again risen this year, they have gone up at a slower pace compared to the whopping 10.5% increase between Christmas 2021 and 2022. And not everything has gotten more expensive either.

Either way, the high cost of turtle doves hasn’t seemed to stop consumer spending yet. Black Friday and Cyber Monday both set new online sales records too, even as more consumers are choosing buy now, pay later options this year, meaning much of the sky-high holiday costs are yet to be paid.

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