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By Jim Martin, Doug Oathout Erie Times-News staff bloggers
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Posted: February 14th, 2013
‘Cost of Loving Index’ up 2.4 percent this Valentine’s Day

Love might be blind, but it is not cheap.
And the latest “Cost of Loving Index” shows the price of treating a sweetheart is getting more expensive.
The index, created 23 years ago by a Houston-based investment advisory firm called Houston Asset Management, annually tracks the cost of nine popular Valentine Day gifts to prepare romantics for the cost of expressing their affections.
The index is up 2.4 percent overall for 2013. Spoiling your loved one with imported Chanel No. 5 perfume stinks at a skyrocketing increase of 14 percent. Those fancy Godiva chocolates in a heart-shaped box are a little less sweet at a cost that’s 5.3 percent more than last year, while the price of a designer silk tie increased 3.45 percent.
The good news is that the majority of gifts on the list remained the same price and you can spend about 9 percent less expressing your affections with a candlelight dinner for two, which represents the only price decrease on the index.
According to the National Retail Federation, the average person planning to celebrate Valentine’s Day will spend $130.97 on flowers, candy, cards, and more — a slight increase from $126.03 last year. Overall spending is expected to reach a total of $18.6 billion.

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