UK inflation rate in 1938: 1.20%

UK Inflation Calculator


UK Inflation Rate, 1938-2017 (£1)

The composite price index (CPI) in 1938 was 16.8. the Office for National Statistics uses this CPI value to track inflation on a monthly basis.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the pound experienced an average inflation rate of 5.39% per year. Prices in 2017 are 6241.4% higher than prices in 1938.

In other words, £1 in the year 1938 is equivalent to £63.41 in 2017, a difference of £62.41 over 79 years.

The current inflation rate in 2017 is 2.70%1. If this number holds, £1 today will be equivalent to £1.03 next year.

Inflation from 1938 to 2017
Cumulative price change 6241.36%
Average inflation rate 5.39%
Price difference (£1 base) £62.41
CPI in 1938 16.8
CPI in 2017 1065.34818

UK inflation chart from 1988 to 2017. Based on the UK Consumer Price Index.

How to calculate the inflation rate for £1 since 1938

Start with the inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2017 / CPI in 1938 * 1938 GBP value = 2017 GBP value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The UK CPI was 16.8 in the year 1938 and 1065.34818 in 2017:

1065.34818 / 16.8 * £1 = £63.41

The "purchasing power" of £1 from 1938 is £63.41 in 2017.

News headlines from 1938

Politics and news often play an important role in economic performance.

  • Anthony Eden resigns as United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary, after stating that Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain has appeased Nazi Germany.
  • Czechoslovakia is forced to give territory to Germany after the Treaty of Munich was signed by Hitler, Mussolini, Daladier and Chamberlain.
  • Joseph Kennedy is named the 44th US Ambassador to the United Kingdom.

Inflation Data Source: This calculator uses the composite price index published by the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS). A composite index is created by combining price data from several different published sources, both official and unofficial. The Consumer Price Index, normally used to compute inflation, has only been tracked since 1988. All inflation calculations after 1988 use the Office for National Statistics' Consumer Price Index, except for 2017, which is based on The Bank of England's forecast.

» Read more about inflation.