Purchasing power decreased by 17.97% in 1918 compared to 1917. On average, you would have to spend 17.97% more money in 1918 than in 1917 for the same item.
In other words, $1 in 1917 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $1.18 in 1918.
The 1917 inflation rate was 17.43%. The inflation rate in 1918 was 17.97%. The 1918 inflation rate is higher compared to the average inflation rate of 2.83% per year between 1918 and 2019.
Inflation rate is calculated by change in the consumer price index (CPI). The CPI in 1918 was 15.10. It was 12.80 in the previous year, 1917. The difference in CPI between the years is used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to officially determine inflation.
|Average inflation rate||17.97%|
|Converted amount ($1 base)||$1.18|
|Price difference ($1 base)||$0.18|
|CPI in 1917||12.800|
|CPI in 1918||15.100|
|Inflation in 1917||17.43%|
|Inflation in 1918||17.97%|
Inflation can vary widely by city, even within the United States. Here's how some cities fared in 1917 to 1918 (figures shown are purchasing power equivalents of $1):
Seattle, Washington experienced the highest rate of inflation during the 1 years between 1917 and 1918 (22.53%).
San Francisco, California experienced the lowest rate of inflation during the 1 years between 1917 and 1918 (16.53%).
Note that some locations showing 0% inflation may have not yet reported latest data.
Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £1.00 in 1917 would be equivalent to £1.22 in 1918, an absolute change of £0.22 and a cumulative change of 22.09%.
In Canada, CA$1.00 in 1917 would be equivalent to CA$1.13 in 1918, an absolute change of CA$0.13 and a cumulative change of 13.25%.
Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $0.18 and total percent change of 17.97%.
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 1917 and 1918.
Compare these values to the overall average of 17.97% per year:
|Category||Avg Inflation (%)||Total Inflation (%)||$1 in 1917 → 1918|
|Used cars and trucks||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 1917. This table and visualization use the earliest available data for each category.
This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:
Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 12.8 in the year 1917 and 15.1 in 1918:
$1 in 1917 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $1.18 in 1918.
To get the total inflation rate for the 1 years between 1917 and 1918, we use the following formula:
Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:
To help put this inflation into perspective, if we had invested $1 in the S&P 500 index in 1917, our investment would be nominally worth approximately $0.96 in 1918. This is a return on investment of -3.81%, with an absolute return of $-0.04.
These numbers are not inflation adjusted, so they are considered nominal. In order to evaluate the real return on our investment, we must calculate the return with inflation taken into account.
The compounding effect of inflation would account for 15.23% of returns ($-0.01) during this period. This means the inflation-adjusted real return of our $1 investment is $-0.03.
|Original Amount||Final Amount||Change|
Politics and news often influence economic performance. Here's what was happening at the time:
Raw data for these calculations comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Price Index (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 1918 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 24 Apr. 2019, https://www.officialdata.org/inflation-rate-in-1918.
Special thanks to QuickChart for providing downloadable chart images.
in2013dollars.com is a reference website maintained by the Official Data Foundation.