HOUSTON -- Affirming your affections this Valentine's Day won't cost much more than last year, says the Cost of Loving Index. The biggest increase since the index began is in the price of first-run movie tickets for two, which jumped 4.8% to $22 this year.
The Cost of Loving Index is sponsored and administered by Houston Asset Management.
Only a third of the popular gift items the index tracks rose in price this year, reflecting a three-year trend of declining costs. Some prices even dropped; toasting each other with a bottle of California chardonnay will cost 10% less this year than last.
The highest price increase of 2014 at 6.7% is for a man’s designer silk tie; meanwhile, the costs for a woman’s lingerie and perfume remain stable.
"This year shows a total increase of 2.3% in the Cost of Loving Index," said Bob Frater, CEO of Houston Asset Management. "That's a little lower than the 2.4% increase last year and a good drop from the 4.8% increase in 2012. But it is still higher than the 2014 cost of living adjustment provided by the Social Security Administration that is only 1.5%."
To complete that movie date night, the cost of an elegant candlelight dinner for two increased 6.4% this year. "You may want to stay home and pop the cork of a bottle of Simi Chardonnay, which is down more than 10% in price at $23.12, and exchange Valentine greeting cards that remain fixed at $4.75," Frater commented.
According to the National Retail Association, a third of Valentine Day gift-givers choose roses to express their affection and a dozen long-stemmed roses delivered costs $129.07, the same as last year. A heart-shaped box of Godiva chocolates is still $100, but that's a $15 increase from the 2004 price.
Highlights of the 2014 Cost of Loving Index:
- Costs of five of the nine popular gifts tracked are unchanged.
- The price of a silk designer nightie remained the same at $68.
- A dozen long-stemmed red roses delivered will cost $129.07; that's more than double the cost of $65 in 1990.
- The highest priced item on the index is one ounce of Chanel No. 5 perfume, $325 -- the same as last year, which was a 14% increase from 2012.
- A bottle of Simi California chardonnay dropped 10.56% this year to $23.12.
Houston Asset Management is a full-service registered investment advisory firm that offers financial planning and investment advisory services.
Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.
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