Valentine's Day: cost of romance rising for flower delivery, 4 other things

When you arrange for flower delivery or take a special someone out for dinner this Valentine's Day, it'll cost more than it did a year ago. That's the cold hard fact about a warmhearted and festive day, according official US inflation data.

But the rising cost may actually be a relatively small one: Those chocolate or flower prices haven't been rising at gas-pump-fast rates. Here's the official inflation tally of five common Valentine's Day activities, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post/AP
Cheri Myler, owner of Artistic Creations Flowers and Gifts in Centennial, Colo., is busy Monday, Feb. 13, 2012, filling orders for dozens of bouquets to be delivered on Valentine's Day Tuesday.

1. Dining out

A full-service meal away from home has risen 2.9 percent in price over the year that ended in December. That's just below the overall rate of consumer price inflation, which was 3 percent. But over the past decade, full-service meals have gone up just a bit more than overall inflation, which totaled 27.8 percent for the 10-year period.

By the way, the BLS doesn't give average prices in dollar figures. So a reminder of the obvious: The meal will cost more at Chicago's Alinea Restaurant than at Applebee's, and there are lots of options in between.

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