Saturday, December 06, 2008

Christmas Inflation: 8.1 Percent

That's the increase from last year in the price of a particular basket of consumer goods: twelve drummers drumming, eleven pipers piping, ten lords a-leaping, nine ladies dancing, eight maids a-milking, seven swans a-swimming, six geese a-laying, five golden rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Here is the Press Release.

Note that this index, like the CPI, assumes a fixed basket and therefore does not allow the consumer to take advantage of changes in relative prices. If you could substitute and, for example, buy fewer turtle doves and more French hens, the hit to the consumer's well being would be smaller. But it would wreak havoc on the song.