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12 days of Christmas now cost $107,000

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 Drought and rising gold prices have driven up the cost of several items in the annual PNC Christmas Price Index dramatically this year. (iStock) If you're looking to save money on gifts this holiday season, steer clear of waterfowl.

According to the annual PNC Christmas Price Index, geese-a-laying are up 29.6 per cent this year over last, and seven swans-a-swimming will run you up approximately $7,000 US.

For the past 29 years, PNC Financial Services Group in the U.S. has been calculating what it would cost to purchase everything mentioned in the classic "12 days of Christmas" carol.

Economists working on the tongue-in-cheek commodity index look at everything from the trading price of gold to the average wages for dancing ladies and drummers per performance.

As you may recall from listening to the 12 Days of Christmas, the courted character's true love comes back with a new set of gifts on each of those 12 days. All golden rings, turtle doves and leaping lords included, that's 364 gifts in total.

This year, the grand total comes out to $107,000 US, a 6.1 per cent rise over last year's price.

The cost for 12 days of Christmas in 2011 was estimated at $101,119.84 US and in 2010 it was $96, 824.29 US.

"The rise of the PNC CPI is larger than expected considering the modest economic growth we've had over the past 12 months," said Jim Dunigan, managing executive of investments for PNC Wealth Management in a press release issued by the company, noting that no items in the list decreased in price.

A severe drought this year drove up feed costs for large birds, making them significantly more expensive to purchase. French hens rose in price alongside swans and geese, up 10 per cent this year at $165.00 US for three. 

Five golden rings soared 16.3 per cent thanks to quickly rising gold prices, but the cost of hiring eight maids-a-milking is the same because minimum wage in the U.S. hasn't risen this year.

The full Christmas Price Index can be viewed on PNC's new interactive website, alongside educational materials intended for students learning about economic trends.

Is there anything on your list that you tend to purchase year over year? If so have you noticed the cost going up regularly, erratically, or not at all? Share your stories below.

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