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Investing in love is pricey

By Sheyna Steiner · Bankrate.com
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Posted: 1 pm ET

Investing in love will cost a little bit more this year -- 2.38 percent more to be exact -- according to the annual Cost of Loving Index, which has tracked the value of nine romantic items since 1990. The index is compiled by Houston Asset Management.

For instance, the cost of perfume is up 14.04 percent since last year, chocolate rose 5.26 percent, and the cost of designer silk ties has risen 3.45 percent since 2011, the press release for the index reports.

The increasing cost of raw materials explains the boost in prices. In 2011, the rising cost of commodities pushed fragrance prices up, AccountingToday.com reported in August 2011. Large perfume companies, those with $80 million or more in annual revenues, are most affected by the vicissitudes of commodity prices, according to the story, "Marcum finds commodity prices, consolidation impact U.S. fragrance industry."

Similarly, the price of cocoa spiked in mid-2012, data from the International Cocoa Organization show. Cocoa beans began 2012 with the monthly average price of $2,307.62 per ton, but that grew to $2,620.28 in September. In January 2013, they were at $2,275.44. With much of the farmland in the U.S. experiencing drought conditions in 2012, the price of milk was forecast to jump as much as 15 percent in the first quarter of 2013, Bloomberg reported in October 2012.

According to the Cost of Love Index, one thing that may not cost a lot more this year is a cozy dinner for two. A dinner for two is down 9 percent, according to the press release.

That may not be universal. Menu prices are up about 3 percent over last year, according to Annika Stensson, media relations representative with the National Restaurant Association, the industry's trade organization.

"Many restaurants do offer specials for the occasion, and the fact that Valentine's Day falls on a Thursday may also influence offers to drive traffic on a day of the week that typically sees less business than weekends," she says.

What is V-Day going to cost you?

Follow me on Twitter: @SheynaSteiner.

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