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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Luxury Goods Cost Less

NEW YORK -- Living well is costly, but less costly than it was a year ago, according to a novel index released this week by Moet & Chandon champagne.


According to the Moet Luxury Index, prices of luxury items rose less than the consumer price index. So, in a sense, they have become less expensive.


The index looks at 12 luxury items and services and calculates the percent increase. In 1993, the index rose 2.3 percent, less than the rise in the cost of living, which rose by 2.7 percent. A year before luxury items rose 1.8 percent in price, also slower than the CPI's gain of 2.9 percent.


"Low inflation means that consumers can enjoy some of life's more affordable luxuries -- like champagne and chocolate truffles -- at quite reasonable prices," said financial consultant David Alger of Fred Alger Management. "Current statistics indicate that this period of stable prices will last through the year," he said. "It's quite possible that the trend will continue throughout the decade."


Seven of the items showed no price increase, including Hennessy XO Cognac, a ride in a limousine and a ticket to a Broadway show.


The price for Petrossian Russian beluga caviar actually declined 2.5 percent.


Prices of four items increased. Dom Perignon champagne went up 4.8 percent and imported chocolate truffles rose 5 percent.


The most dramatic increase was a visit to a fancy hair salon at 13.6 percent.