If the partridge in a pear tree is any indication, low inflation is a real boon for consumers.

The PNC Christmas Price Index, which for 32 years has tracked the price of goods and services featured in the classic carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas," finds only modest increases over last year.

The same 12 drummers drumming, nine ladies dancing, five gold rings, two turtle doves, and other gifts for true loves cost $34,130.99 for 2015, only $198 more than last year.

This mirrors the overall U.S. CPI gain of only 0.2%. Nine out of twelve items were flat year over year.

Inflation around here is even lower. The Northeast CPI index has actually fallen 0.2% since October and is down 0.1% year over year.

Twelve drummers drumming, nine ladies dancing, five gold rings, two turtle doves, and other gifts for true loves cost just $198 more than last year.
The biggest factors here are commodities—particularly energy—which have reflected global supply and demand, particularly as commodity-hog China has slowed appreciably this year.

Gasoline prices in the region have tanked 33% since October 2014.

Plenty of items show only modest declines or increases. Shelter is flat, with 0.2% gains in rent. Food is up about 0.1%.

Transportation costs overall are down 1.1%. Even pricey medical care (+0.5%) and education (+0.3%) are tame by historic comparisons.

Overall, consumers can celebrate the fact that inflation is in check.

And while raises are averaging only about 3%, these are real net gains—not eaten up by nasty inflation.