UK inflation rate in 1988: 4.90%

UK Inflation Calculator


Inflation in 1988 and Its Effect on Pound Value

Purchasing power decreased by 4.90% in 1988 compared to 1987. On average, you would have to spend 4.90% more money in 1988 than in 1987 for the same item.

In other words, £1 in 1987 is equivalent in purchasing power to about £1.05 in 1988.

The 1987 inflation rate was 4.17%. The inflation rate in 1988 was 4.90%. The 1988 inflation rate is higher compared to the average inflation rate of 3.21% per year between 1988 and 2019.

Inflation rate is calculated by change in the composite price index (CPI). The CPI in 1988 was 421.70. It was 402.00 in the previous year, 1987. The difference in CPI between the years is used by the Office for National Statistics to officially determine inflation.

Inflation from 1987 to 1988
Average inflation rate 4.90%
Converted amount (£1 base) £1.05
Price difference (£1 base) £0.05
CPI in 1987 402.000
CPI in 1988 421.700
Inflation in 1987 4.17%
Inflation in 1988 4.90%

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

How to Calculate Inflation Rate for £1, 1987 to 1988

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 1988CPI in 1987
1987 GBP value
1988 GBP value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The UK CPI was 402 in the year 1987 and 421.7 in 1988:


£1 in 1987 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as £1.05 in 1988.

To get the total inflation rate for the 1 years between 1987 and 1988, we use the following formula:

CPI in 1988 - CPI in 1987CPI in 1987
Cumulative inflation rate (1 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

421.7 - 402402

News headlines from 1987

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

  • New Zealand becomes the only nation to legislate against nuclear power, when their Labour government legislates against nuclear weapons and nuclear powered vessels.
  • Margaret Thatcher becomes the first British PM in 160 years to win a third consecutive term in office.
  • The Dow Jones stock index falls by 508.32 points, the event is later known as Black Monday.

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 1988 | 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.

» Read more about inflation and investment.