The cost of true love this Christmas

present.jpgAhh, 'tis finally the season to be jolly (well despite the you-know-what).Except - oh no - the CPI has gone up. No, not the Consumer Price Index, silly, the Christmas Price Index. That is, for the less romantic amongst you, the price that being a True Love comes in at around this time of year.Compiled by American investment group PNC Wealth Management, the index is based on the total cost of purchasing the following in the US:twelve drummers drummingeleven pipers pipingten lords-a-leapingnine ladies dancingeight maids-a-milkingseven swans-a-swimmingsix geese-a-layingfive golden ringsfour calling birdsthree french henstwo turtle dovesand, of course, a partridge in pear tree.Apparently it's those swans-a-swimming that have pushed things up a bit, as well as the hefty export costs of all those different birds. Although if you're going for a credit-crunch version of True Love, you may be pleased to hear that the drummers-drumming, pipers-piping and lords-a-leaping have seen wage inflation kept in check by worries about job security, so their cost has increased by just 3%.PNC assert that the index is actually a good indicator of broader trends in the American economy. It's leapt up by 8.1% to $21,080 this year up from last year, the second highest ever increase. The US government's Consumer Price Index (CPI) has risen 3.7% this year.Not perhaps the index of the future for statisticians and economists everywhere, but certainly an intersting way of looking at things. So remember to cut backs on the swans this festive season and you should come out the other side of the crunch like a lord-a-leaping.

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