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Cost of really living it up.

The 1992 Consumer Price Index declined from the previous year, but the inflation rate for the cost of "really" living was even lower, according to Moot & Chandon Champagne's annual Luxury Index, which has tracked the cost of a dozen luxury goods and services in New York since 1984. The continued low inflation rate is making some of life's luxuries a bit more accessible. "In the world economic environment, sellers of luxury products into the American market want to increase sales. They can do this by maintaining prices. This means that luxury items, like imported chocolate or fine champagne, are becoming increasingly affordable to the American consumer."

Prices for eight of the 12 items tracked showed no increase in 1992, including Dom Perignon Champagne, Hennessy X.O Cognac, and imported truffles. Of those that did go up, the most dramatic rises were in the costs of a Rolle-Royce Comiche IV Convertible (10.7%) and tickets to the Broadway show "Cats" (8.3%). Smaller cost bumps include a wash, cut, and blow-dry at a luxury salon and the price of a Rolex watch (1.5% each).

In celebration of its 250th anniversary, Moot & Chandon also took a look at what do elite paid for essentials in Paris in 1748. A ticket to the Theatre du Palais Royal was about 80 cents, a bottle of champagne went for less than $1.50, a gold watch about $54, and maid service ran just under 26 cents per day. A Frenchman could rent a carriage for 22 cents an hour, if he were very wealthy, he could buy it for around $4,000 - an incredible fortune when the average yearly income was less than $100 for a maid, about $320 for a teacher, and less than $178 for a doctor.
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Title Annotation:luxury goods and inflation
Publication:USA Today (Magazine)
Date:Jul 1, 1993
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