UK inflation rate in 1938: 1.20%

UK Inflation Calculator


Inflation in 1938 and Its Effect on Pound Value

Purchasing power decreased by 1.20% in 1938 compared to 1937. On average, you would have to spend 1.20% more money in 1938 than in 1937 for the same item.

In other words, £1 in 1937 is equivalent in purchasing power to about £1.01 in 1938.

The 1937 inflation rate was 3.75%. The inflation rate in 1938 was 1.20%. The 1938 inflation rate is lower compared to the average inflation rate of 5.32% per year between 1938 and 2019.

Inflation rate is calculated by change in the composite price index (CPI). The CPI in 1938 was 16.80. It was 16.60 in the previous year, 1937. The difference in CPI between the years is used by the Office for National Statistics to officially determine inflation.

Inflation from 1937 to 1938
Average inflation rate 1.20%
Converted amount (£1 base) £1.01
Price difference (£1 base) £0.01
CPI in 1937 16.600
CPI in 1938 16.800
Inflation in 1937 3.75%
Inflation in 1938 1.20%

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

How to Calculate Inflation Rate for £1, 1937 to 1938

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 1938CPI in 1937
1937 GBP value
1938 GBP value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The UK CPI was 16.6 in the year 1937 and 16.8 in 1938:


£1 in 1937 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as £1.01 in 1938.

To get the total inflation rate for the 1 years between 1937 and 1938, we use the following formula:

CPI in 1938 - CPI in 1937CPI in 1937
Cumulative inflation rate (1 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

16.8 - 16.616.6

News headlines from 1937

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

  • The Second Sino-Japanese War starts when Japanese and Chinese troops clash at the Marco Polo Bridge.
  • 193,000 Russians are executed by order of the Politburo's Operative Order 00447.
  • Adolf Hitler and his military leaders hold a secret meeting where he reveals his plan to go to war.

Data Source & Citation

Raw data for these calculations comes from 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.

You may use the following MLA citation for this page: “Inflation Rate in 1938 | UK Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 19 Apr. 2019,

Special thanks to QuickChart for providing downloadable chart images. is a reference website maintained by the Official Data Foundation.

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