UK inflation rate in 1939: 2.98%

UK Inflation Calculator


UK Inflation Rate, 1939-2018 (£1)

The composite price index (CPI) in 1939 was 17.3. the Office for National Statistics uses this CPI value to track inflation on a monthly basis.

According to the Office for National Statistics composite price index, the pound experienced an average inflation rate of 5.39% per year. Prices in 2018 are 6238.7% higher than prices in 1939.

In other words, £1 in the year 1939 is equivalent in purchasing power to £63.39 in 2018, a difference of £62.39 over 79 years.

The current inflation rate in 2018 is 3.10%1. If this number holds, £1 today will be equivalent to £1.03 next year.

Inflation from 1939 to 2018
Cumulative price change 6238.68%
Average inflation rate 5.39%
Price difference (£1 base) £62.39
CPI in 1939 17.3
CPI in 2018 1096.59148

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

How to calculate the inflation rate for £1 since 1939

Start with the inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2018 / CPI in 1939 * 1939 GBP value = 2018 GBP value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The UK CPI was 17.3 in the year 1939 and 1096.59148 in 2018:

1096.59148 / 17.3 * £1 = £63.39

£1 in 1939 has the same "purchasing power" as £63.39 in 2018.

News headlines from 1939

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

  • Hitler makes a speech to the German Reichstag where he threatens Jews.
  • Mahatma Gandhi begins his fast in protest against Britain’s autocratic rule in India
  • The Battle of Nanchang takes place between the Kuomintang ant the Japanese, during Sino-Japanese War.
  • The Spanish Civil War ends when Madrid falls to Francisco Franco.
  • Britain and France declare war on Germany after it invades Poland, signaling the start of World War II.
  • Mussolini’s Italy joins Hitler's war against Great Britain and France.
  • Winston Churchill is named British Prime Minister, succeeding Neville Chamberlain.
  • Nazi blitzkrieg conquest of France begins when the Germans cross the Muese River.
  • Auschwitz concentration camp is opened in Nazi-controlled Poland,.

Inflation Data Source

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 1939 | UK Inflation Calculator.” FinanceRef Inflation Calculator, Alioth Finance, 18 Apr. 2018,

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