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# U.S. inflation rate in 1848: -3.66%

### Inflation in 1848 and Its Effect on Dollar Value

Purchasing power increased by 3.66% in 1848 compared to 1847. On average, you would have to spend 3.66% less money in 1848 than in 1847 for the same item. This is an example of deflation.

In other words, \$1 in 1847 is equivalent in purchasing power to about \$0.96 in 1848.

The 1847 inflation rate was 6.49%. The inflation rate in 1848 was -3.66%. The 1848 inflation rate is lower compared to the average inflation rate of 2.06% per year between 1848 and 2019.

Inflation rate is calculated by change in the consumer price index (CPI). The CPI in 1848 was 7.90. It was 8.20 in the previous year, 1847. The difference in CPI between the years is used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to officially determine inflation. Because the 1848 CPI is less than 1847 CPI, negative inflation (also known as deflation) has occurred.

 Average inflation rate -3.66% Converted amount (\$1 base) \$0.96 Price difference (\$1 base) \$-0.04 CPI in 1847 8.200 CPI in 1848 7.900 Inflation in 1847 6.49% Inflation in 1848 -3.66%

### Inflation by Country

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £1.00 in 1847 would be equivalent to £0.87 in 1848, an absolute change of £-0.13 and a cumulative change of -12.84%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of \$-0.04 and total percent change of -3.66%.

### 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 1847 and 1848.

Compare these values to the overall average of -3.66% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) \$1 in 1847 → 1848
Food 0.00 0.00 1.00
Shelter 0.00 0.00 1.00
Energy 0.00 0.00 1.00
Apparel 0.00 0.00 1.00
New vehicles 0.00 0.00 1.00
Used cars and trucks 0.00 0.00 1.00
Transportation services 0.00 0.00 1.00
Medical care services 0.00 0.00 1.00
Medical care commodities 0.00 0.00 1.00

It's important to note that not all categories may be tracked since 1847. This table and visualization use the earliest available data for each category.

### How to Calculate Inflation Rate for \$1, 1847 to 1848

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 1848CPI in 1847
×
1847 USD value
=
1848 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 8.2 in the year 1847 and 7.9 in 1848:

7.98.2
×
\$1
=
\$0.96

\$1 in 1847 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as \$0.96 in 1848.

To get the total inflation rate for the 1 years between 1847 and 1848, we use the following formula:

CPI in 1848 - CPI in 1847CPI in 1847
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (1 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

7.9 - 8.28.2
×
100
=
-4%

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

• The US Government purchases Samuel Colt's revolver pistol for the first time.
• Mexico City is captured by United States General Winfield Scott during the Mexican-American War

### 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: “Inflation Rate in 1848 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 23 Oct. 2019, https://www.officialdata.org/inflation-rate-in-1848.