U.S. inflation rate in 1946: 8.33%

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Inflation in 1946 and Its Effect on Dollar Value

Purchasing power decreased by 8.33% in 1946 compared to the previous year, 1945. On average, you would have to spend 8.33% more money in 1946 than in 1945 for the same item.

In other words, $100 in 1945 is equivalent in purchasing power to $108.33 in 1946.

The 1945 inflation rate was 2.27%. The inflation rate in 1946 was 8.33%. The 1946 inflation rate is higher compared to the average inflation rate of 3.62% per year between 1946 and 2018.

Inflation rate is calculated by change in the consumer price index (CPI). The CPI in 1946 was 19.5. It was 18 in the previous year, 1945. The difference in CPI between the years is used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to officially determine inflation.


Inflation from 1945 to 1946
Average inflation rate 8.33%
Converted amount ($100 base) $108.33
Price difference ($100 base) $8.33
CPI in 1945 18
CPI in 1946 19.5
Inflation in 1945 2.27%
Inflation in 1946 8.33%


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 1945 to 1946 (figures shown are purchasing power equivalents of $100):

New York experienced the highest rate of inflation during the 1 years between 1945 and 1946 (9.87%).

Atlanta, Georgia experienced the lowest rate of inflation during the 1 years between 1945 and 1946 (6.10%).


Inflation by Country

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £100.00 in 1945 would be equivalent to £103.05 in 1946, an absolute change of £3.05 and a cumulative change of 3.05%.

In Canada, CA$100.00 in 1945 would be equivalent to CA$105.43 in 1946, an absolute change of CA$5.43 and a cumulative change of 5.43%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $8.33 and total percent change of 8.33%.


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 1945 and 1946.

Compare these values to the overall average of 8.33% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) $100 in 1945 → 1946
Food 14.80 14.80 114.80
Shelter 0.00 0.00 100.00
Energy 0.00 0.00 100.00
Apparel 9.72 9.72 109.72
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 6.07 6.07 106.07
Medical care commodities 0.00 0.00 100.00

It's important to note that not all categories may be tracked since 1945. This table and visualization use the earliest available data for each category.



How to Calculate Inflation Rate for $100, 1945 to 1946

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 1946CPI in 1945
×
1945 USD value
=
1946 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 18 in the year 1945 and 19.5 in 1946:

19.518
×
$100
=
$108.33

$100 in 1945 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $108.33 in 1946.

To get the total inflation rate for the 1 years between 1945 and 1946, we use the following formula:

CPI in 1946 - CPI in 1945CPI in 1945
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (1 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

19.5 - 1818
×
100
=
8%

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 1945, your investment would be worth approximately $122.55 in 1946. This is a change of 22.55%.

This means the nominal return on a $100 investment is $22.55, but inflation would eat into your real returns.

Inflation would account for 7.69% of your returns ($1.73), for an inflation-adjusted real return of about $20.81.


News headlines from 1945

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

  • The USSR captures Budapest from Germany in a battle that kills 159,000 people.
  • The US Fleet captures Iwo Jima.
  • 1,500 US Navy ships bomb Okinawa: the operation is believed to be the largest of World War II
  • Iwo Jima is occupied by America, costing 6,000 American lives and a further 18,000 Japanese lives.
  • Buchenwald, the first Nazi concentration camp, is liberated.

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 1946 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 22 Oct. 2018, https://www.officialdata.org/inflation-rate-in-1946.

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


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