'Twelve days of Christmas' gets pricier
Rising labor costs and surging demand for pear trees lead to a 3.1 percent increase in PNC's 'Christmas Price Index.'
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Booming commercial construction is sparking demand for ornamental trees, leading to a 44 percent increase in the price of a pear tree, which helped push the price for buying all the items in the "The Twelve Days of Christmas," up 3.1 percent in 2006, according to a recent study.
The satirical study, put out every year by PNC Wealth Management, said rising labor costs led to an increase in the price of skilled labor, including the nine ladies dancing, 10 lords-a-leaping, 11 pipers piping, and 12 drummers drumming.
The nine ladies dancing, costing an estimated $4,759, is the most pricey item on the list.
"After years of stagnation, wages for skilled workers, including the song's dancers and musicians, have increased as the labor market has tightened," said Jeff Kleintop, chief investment strategist for PNC Wealth Management.
The only labor group to not increase this year is the eight maids-a-milking, who get minimum wage. It only costs $41.20 to hire the maids.
Offsetting the increase in labor is the price of 5 gold rings, which came in at $325, no increase from the year prior.
"A slowing residential real estate market is making people feel less wealthy this year and is dulling demand for luxury items, like gold rings," said Kleintop. "Investors have been buying gold as an inflation hedge and prices per ounce remain much higher than last year. This may put pressure on profit margins at retail jewelers, who have not been able to pass along the increased cost to consumers."
Birds, which make up six of the gifts, were relatively stable in price, as the fuel costs to ship them leveled off, the study said.
The total price to give your lover all the items in the song: $18,920.59