U.S. inflation rate in 1941: 5.00%

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Inflation in 1941 and Its Effect on Dollar Value

Purchasing power decreased by 5.00% in 1941 compared to the previous year, 1940. On average, you would have to spend 5.00% more money in 1941 than in 1940 for the same item.

In other words, $100 in 1940 is equivalent in purchasing power to $105 in 1941.

The 1940 inflation rate was 0.72%. The inflation rate in 1941 was 5.00%. The 1941 inflation rate is higher compared to the average inflation rate of 3.76% per year between 1941 and 2018.

Inflation rate is calculated by change in the consumer price index (CPI). The CPI in 1941 was 14.7. It was 14 in the previous year, 1940. The difference in CPI between the years is used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to officially determine inflation.


Inflation from 1940 to 1941
Average inflation rate 5.00%
Converted amount ($100 base) $105
Price difference ($100 base) $5.00
CPI in 1940 14
CPI in 1941 14.7
Inflation in 1940 0.72%
Inflation in 1941 5.00%


U.S. Inflation since 1913
Annual Rate, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI

Inflation by City

Inflation can vary widely by city, even within the United States. Here's how some cities fared in 1940 to 1941 (figures shown are purchasing power equivalents of $100):

Detroit, Michigan experienced the highest rate of inflation during the 1 years between 1940 and 1941 (6.26%).

New York experienced the lowest rate of inflation during the 1 years between 1940 and 1941 (3.74%).


Inflation by Country

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £100.00 in 1940 would be equivalent to £110.89 in 1941, an absolute change of £10.89 and a cumulative change of 10.89%.

In Canada, CA$100.00 in 1940 would be equivalent to CA$106.10 in 1941, an absolute change of CA$6.10 and a cumulative change of 6.10%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $5.00 and total percent change of 5.00%.


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 1940 and 1941.

Compare these values to the overall average of 5.00% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) $100 in 1940 → 1941
Food 9.11 9.11 109.11
Shelter 0.00 0.00 100.00
Energy 0.00 0.00 100.00
Apparel 4.59 4.59 104.59
New vehicles 0.00 0.00 100.00
Used cars and trucks 0.00 0.00 100.00
Transportation services 0.00 0.00 100.00
Medical care services 0.24 0.24 100.24
Medical care commodities 0.00 0.00 100.00

It's important to note that not all categories may be tracked since 1940. This table and visualization use the earliest available data for each category.



How to Calculate Inflation Rate for $100, 1940 to 1941

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 1941CPI in 1940
×
1940 USD value
=
1941 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 14 in the year 1940 and 14.7 in 1941:

14.714
×
$100
=
$105

$100 in 1940 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $105 in 1941.

To get the total inflation rate for the 1 years between 1940 and 1941, we use the following formula:

CPI in 1941 - CPI in 1940CPI in 1940
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (1 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

14.7 - 1414
×
100
=
5%

Comparison to S&P 500 Index

To help put this inflation into perspective, if you had invested $100 in the S&P 500 index in 1940, your investment would be worth approximately $82.80 in 1941. This is a change of -17.20%.

This means the nominal return on a $100 investment is $-17.20, but inflation would eat into your real returns.

Inflation would account for 4.76% of your returns ($-0.82), for an inflation-adjusted real return of about $-16.38.

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 1941 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 23 Oct. 2018, https://www.officialdata.org/inflation-rate-in-1941.

in2013dollars.com is a reference website maintained by the Official Data Foundation.


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