BOSTON (Reuters) - As the U.S. holiday season spins into high gear, shoppers with quirky shopping lists got a bit of good news on Monday: The cost of the gifts in "The Twelve Days of Christmas" carol inched up 1.4 percent this year, a U.S. financial services group found.
The cost of the six geese-a-laying surged 71 percent over the past year, according to an annual analysis by PNC Wealth Management of Pittsburgh. However most of the gifts the carol's "true love" sent the singer, including the five golden rings, four calling birds and nine ladies dancing were unchanged.
Overall, the tab for the gifts in the song's 12 verses would come to $116,273.06 in 2014, up modestly from $114,651.18 last year, PNC said. That marked the smallest increase in the song's cost since 2002, when it dropped 7.6 percent following a stock-market slide after the collapse of the dot-com bubble.
"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 2.8 percent, which is exactly the same number as the U.S. inflation index," said Jim Dunigan, PNC's chief investment officer.
This year's increase was less than the 1.7 percent rise of the U.S. Labor Department's Consumer Price Index, a widely watched economic indicator, in the 12 months ended in October.
(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Eric Beech)