U.S. inflation rate in 1946: 8.33%

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U.S. Inflation Rate, 1946-2017 ($1)

The consumer price index (CPI) in 1946 was 19.5. 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 3.63% per year. Prices in 2017 are 1155.0% higher than prices in 1946.

In other words, $1 in the year 1946 is equivalent to $12.55 in 2017, a difference of $11.55 over 71 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 1946 to 2017
Cumulative price change 1155.00%
Average inflation rate 3.63%
Price difference ($1 base) $11.55
CPI in 1946 19.5
CPI in 2017 244.786


U.S. inflation from 1913 to 2017


Inflation rates for specific categories

Baby food · Bananas · Educational books and supplies · More

Inflation-adjusted measures

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

How to calculate the inflation rate for $1 since 1946

Start with the inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2017 / CPI in 1946 * 1946 USD value = 2017 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 19.5 in the year 1946 and 244.786 in 2017:

244.786 / 19.5 * $1 = $12.55

The "purchasing power" of $1 from 1946 is $12.55 in 2017.


News headlines from 1946

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

  • The United Nations General Assembly meets for the first time in London.
  • President Harry Truman sets up the Central Intelligence Agency or CIA.
  • The US State Department releases the Acheson-Lilenthal Report outlining a plan for how the US can limit nuclear power internationally, marking the beginning of Cold War.
  • Twenty-two Nazi leaders found guilty of war crimes, during the Nuremburg trials.

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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