$3.90 in 1989 → $7.55 in 2016

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U.S. Inflation Rate, $3.90 in 1989 to 2016

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, prices in 2016 are 93.55% higher than prices in 1989. The dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 2.48% per year during this period.

In other words, $3.90 in 1989 is equivalent in purchasing power to $7.55 in 2016, a difference of $3.65 over 27 years.

The 1989 inflation rate was 4.82%. The inflation rate in 2016 was 1.26%. The 2016 inflation rate is lower compared to the average inflation rate of 2.47% per year between 2016 and 2018.


Inflation from 1989 to 2016
Cumulative price change 93.55%
Average inflation rate 2.48%
Converted amount ($3.90 base) $7.55
Price difference ($3.90 base) $3.65
CPI in 1989 124
CPI in 2016 240.007
Inflation in 1989 4.82%
Inflation in 2016 1.26%


U.S. Inflation since 1913
Annual Rate, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI

Buying power of $3.90 since 1989

This chart shows calculations of buying power equivalence over time for $3.90 in 1989 (price index tracking began in 1635).

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, each of these USD amounts below is equal in terms of what it could buy at the time:

Year USD Value Inflation Rate
1989 $3.90 4.82%
1990 $4.11 5.40%
1991 $4.28 4.21%
1992 $4.41 3.01%
1993 $4.54 2.99%
1994 $4.66 2.56%
1995 $4.79 2.83%
1996 $4.93 2.95%
1997 $5.05 2.29%
1998 $5.13 1.56%
1999 $5.24 2.21%
2000 $5.42 3.36%
2001 $5.57 2.85%
2002 $5.66 1.58%
2003 $5.79 2.28%
2004 $5.94 2.66%
2005 $6.14 3.39%
2006 $6.34 3.23%
2007 $6.52 2.85%
2008 $6.77 3.84%
2009 $6.75 -0.36%
2010 $6.86 1.64%
2011 $7.07 3.16%
2012 $7.22 2.07%
2013 $7.33 1.46%
2014 $7.45 1.62%
2015 $7.45 0.12%
2016 $7.55 1.26%
2017 $7.71 2.13%
2018 $7.93 2.81%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.

Inflation by City

Inflation can vary widely by city, even within the United States. Here's how some cities fared in 1989 to 2016 (figures shown are purchasing power equivalents of $3.90):

San Diego, California experienced the highest rate of inflation during the 27 years between 1989 and 2016 (3.29%).

St Louis, Missouri experienced the lowest rate of inflation during the 27 years between 1989 and 2016 (2.23%).


Inflation by Country

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £3.90 in 1989 would be equivalent to £8.90 in 2016, an absolute change of £5.00 and a cumulative change of 128.24%.

In Canada, CA$3.90 in 1989 would be equivalent to CA$6.58 in 2016, an absolute change of CA$2.68 and a cumulative change of 68.73%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $3.65 and total percent change of 93.55%.


Inflation by Spending Category

CPI is the weighted combination of many categories of spending that are tracked by the government. This chart shows the average rate of inflation for select CPI categories between 1989 and 2016.

Compare these values to the overall average of 2.4760329270781645% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) $3.90 in 1989 → 2016
Food 2.57 98.22 7.73
Shelter 2.91 116.99 8.46
Energy 2.62 100.92 7.84
Apparel 0.23 6.29 4.15
New vehicles 0.79 23.62 4.82
Used cars and trucks 0.65 19.14 4.65
Transportation services 2.98 120.82 8.61
Medical care services 4.55 232.30 12.96
Medical care commodities 3.35 143.22 9.49

It's important to note that not all categories may be tracked since 1989. This table and visualization use the earliest available data for each category.



How to Calculate Inflation Rate for $3.90, 1989 to 2016

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2016CPI in 1989
×
1989 USD value
=
2016 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 124 in the year 1989 and 240.007 in 2016:

240.007124
×
$3.90
=
$7.55

$3.90 in 1989 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $7.55 in 2016.

To get the total inflation rate for the 27 years between 1989 and 2016, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2016 - CPI in 1989CPI in 1989
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (27 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

240.007 - 124124
×
100
=
94%

Alternate Measurements of Inflation

The above data describe the CPI for all items. Also of note is the Core CPI, which measures inflation for all items except for the more volatile categories of food and energy. Core inflation averaged 2.45% per year between 1989 and 2016 (vs all-CPI inflation of 2.4760329270781645%), for an inflation total of 91.99%.

When using the core inflation measurement, $3.90 in 1989 is equivalent in buying power to $7.49 in 2016, a difference of $3.59. Recall that for All Items, the converted amount is $7.55 with a difference of $3.65.

In 1989, core inflation was 4.49%.


News headlines from 1989

Politics and news often influence economic performance. Here's what was happening at the time:

  • Chinese troops kill an estimated 1,000 students protesting at Tiananmen Square.
  • The first (partially) free elections take place in Poland, bringing democracy to Eastern Europe for the first time in 40 years. (Won by the Solidarity Party)
  • The demolition of the Berlin Wall begins.
  • Presidents George H. W. Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev, declare that the Cold War has ended.

Data Source & Citation

Raw data for these calculations comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (CPI), established in 1913. Inflation data from 1665 to 1912 is sourced from a historical study conducted by political science professor Robert Sahr at Oregon State University.

You may use the following MLA citation for this page: “$3.90 in 1989 → 2016 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 16 Aug. 2018, https://www.officialdata.org/1989-dollars-in-2016?amount=3.90.

in2013dollars.com is a reference website maintained by the Official Data Foundation.


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