U.S. inflation rate in 1931: -8.98%

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U.S. Inflation Rate, 1931-2017 ($1)

The consumer price index (CPI) in 1931 was 15.2. the Bureau of Labor Statistics uses this CPI value to track inflation on a monthly basis.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 3.28% per year. Prices in 2017 are 1510.0% higher than prices in 1931.

In other words, $1 in the year 1931 is equivalent to $16.10 in 2017, a difference of $15.10 over 86 years.

The current inflation rate in 2017 is 1.99%1. If this number holds, $1 today will be equivalent to $1.02 next year.

Inflation from 1931 to 2017
Cumulative price change 1510.00%
Average inflation rate 3.28%
Price difference ($1 base) $15.10
CPI in 1931 15.2
CPI in 2017 244.786


U.S. inflation from 1913 to 2017


Inflation rates for specific categories

Fresh fruits · Bread · Wine at home · More

Inflation-adjusted measures

S&P 500 price · S&P 500 earnings · Shiller P/E

How to calculate the inflation rate for $1 since 1931

Start with the inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2017 / CPI in 1931 * 1931 USD value = 2017 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 15.2 in the year 1931 and 244.786 in 2017:

244.786 / 15.2 * $1 = $16.10

$1 in 1931 has the same "purchasing power" as $16.10 in 2017.


News headlines from 1931

Politics and news often play an important role in economic performance.

  • The Empire State Building opens in New York
  • A railway explosion is faked by the Japanese in order to create a pretext for their Manchuria invasion.
  • Proclamation of the Chinese People's Republic by Mao Zedong

Inflation Data Source: 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.


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