12 Days of Xmas are up 6 percent

SantasSeven swans, six geese and five golden rings are on the list of Christmas gifts that cost more than they did a year ago.

And all 364 items repeated throughout "The Twelve Days of Christmas" carol will cost 6.1% more this year at 107,300 dollars (£66,982), according to an annual US Christmas Price Index.

"The rise is larger than expected considering the modest economic growth we've had," said Jim Dunigan, managing executive of investments for PNC who carry out the survey.

Thrifty shoppers may find some reasons for cheer. Six items in the song have not gone up: maids-a-milking, ladies dancing, lords-a-leaping, calling birds, turtle doves and the partridge.

Twelve drummers drumming at 2,775.50 dollars (£1,732) and eleven pipers piping 2,562 dollars (£1,599) might also be considered relative bargains compared to seven swans at 7,000 dollars (£4369). Nine ladies dancing will cost 6,294.03 dollars (£3,929).

Mr Dunigan said the 2011 US drought caused the prices of some birds to soar, partly because of corn and other feed costs.

"The geese were up 29.6%, and swans were up 11%," he said, adding that none of the gifts in the song went down in price this year.

The price of a pear tree is 189.99 dollars (£117), an 11.8% jump from last year. Five gold rings jumped 16.3% to 750 dollars (£468), and three French hens are now 165 dollars (£102), instead of 150 dollars (£93.63).

The 15 dollar (£9.36) partridge is the cheapest item, and swans the most expensive, at 1,000 dollars (£624.22) each.
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