U.S. inflation rate in 1937: 3.60%

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U.S. Inflation Rate, 1937-2018 ($1)

The consumer price index (CPI) in 1937 was 14.4. the Bureau of Labor Statistics uses this CPI value to track inflation on a monthly basis.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, the dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 3.58% per year. Prices in 2018 are 1621.0% higher than prices in 1937.

In other words, $1 in the year 1937 is equivalent in purchasing power to $17.21 in 2018, a difference of $16.21 over 81 years.

The current inflation rate in 2018 is 1.26%1. If this number holds, $1 today will be equivalent to $1.01 next year.

Inflation from 1937 to 2018
Cumulative price change 1621.00%
Average inflation rate 3.58%
Price difference ($1 base) $16.21
CPI in 1937 14.4
CPI in 2018 247.867


U.S. inflation from 1913 to 2017


Inflation rates for specific categories

Public transportation · New trucks · Legal services · More

Inflation-adjusted measures

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

How to calculate the inflation rate for $1 since 1937

Start with the inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2018 / CPI in 1937 * 1937 USD value = 2018 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 14.4 in the year 1937 and 247.867 in 2018:

247.867 / 14.4 * $1 = $17.21

$1 in 1937 has the same "purchasing power" as $17.21 in 2018.


News headlines from 1937

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

  • The Second Sino-Japanese War starts when Japanese and Chinese troops clash at the Marco Polo Bridge.
  • 193,000 Russians are executed by order of the Politburo's Operative Order 00447.
  • Adolf Hitler and his military leaders hold a secret meeting where he reveals his plan to go to war.

Inflation Data Source

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 1937 | Inflation Calculator.” FinanceRef Inflation Calculator, Alioth Finance, 15 Feb. 2018, http://www.in2013dollars.com/inflation-rate-in-1937.


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