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Buying "The Twelve Days of Christmas"

Auckland Photo News/flickr

You may have heard the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas” a lot over the past few weeks. While it’s unlikely that you would actually purchase a Partridge in a Pear Tree or Two Turtle Doves or Six Geese a-Laying, etc., you could conceivably. Each year, the PNC Index calculates the cost of purchasing the 12 sets of items listed in that song, including those 11 pipers piping and 12 drummers drumming.

Over the past year, these items have risen in cost by a little less than one percent, consistent with an economy that continues to expand only moderately. Three French hens would cost you no more than it did a year ago. The same is true for four calling birds and five golden rings.

Some items have become much more expensive. For instance, the cost of two turtle doves stands at $375 – that’s 29 percent more than a year ago, the result of a shortage of birds.  The cost of 12 drummers drumming now approaches $3000 and is up by nearly three percent over the past year. Labor costs rose last year, with The New York Times reporting that drummers received their first raise in several years.  

Anirban Basu, Chariman Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group (SPG), is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's leading economic consultants. Prior to founding SPG he was Chairman and CEO of Optimal Solutions Group, a company he co-founded and which continues to operate. Anirban has also served as Director of Applied Economics and Senior Economist for RESI, where he used his extensive knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic region to support numerous clients in their strategic decision-making processes. Clients have included the Maryland Department of Transportation, St. Paul Companies, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and the Martin O'Malley mayoral campaign.