Image: via AP

Encouraging news for parents of teens and future teens: The prom is getting cheaper! Kinda. Sorta.

After many years of trend pieces about the ever-escalating cost of prom and the associated ballooning of “promposals,” the Wall Street Journal offers some hope via Ohio State University economist Jay Zagorsky. Crunching Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers, he found that actually, prom costs haven’t kept pace with inflation:

The BLS tracks inflation—the rate at which the cost of goods and services such as food, apparel and transportation rises over time—with the consumer-price index. Since 2000, the CPI has increased 45%, meaning something that cost a dollar 18 years ago, when many high-school seniors were born, now costs $1.45.

In the same period, prom expenses rose only 25%.

Heartening!

However, is there perhaps something suspicious about Dr. Zagorsky?

Let’s consider this quote: “If wages keep up with inflation, but the prom is rising at less than the rate of inflation, it takes parents and teens less time to earn enough money to go,” he told the Journal. “By that measure, the prom is getting cheaper.”

Perhaps he is an economist. Or maybe he’s actually a study group full of teenagers taking a semester of economics together, who decided to convince their parents that actually, when you think about it, prom isn’t really that expensive, after all. Captain Planet, but for prom scheming. EconoTeen, if you will.

Can’t rule it out! Give them some extra credit, if not $400 worth of flowers and limousine time.