U.S. inflation rate in 1948: 8.07%

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Inflation in 1948 and Its Effect on Dollar Value

Purchasing power decreased by 8.07% in 1948 compared to the previous year, 1947. On average, you would have to spend 8.07% more money in 1948 than in 1947 for the same item.

In other words, $100 in 1947 is equivalent in purchasing power to $108.07 in 1948.

The 1947 inflation rate was 14.36%. The inflation rate in 1948 was 8.07%. The 1948 inflation rate is higher compared to the average inflation rate of 3.41% per year between 1948 and 2018.

Inflation rate is calculated by change in the consumer price index (CPI). The CPI in 1948 was 24.1. It was 22.3 in the previous year, 1947. The difference in CPI between the years is used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to officially determine inflation.


Inflation from 1947 to 1948
Average inflation rate 8.07%
Converted amount ($100 base) $108.07
Price difference ($100 base) $8.07
CPI in 1947 22.3
CPI in 1948 24.1
Inflation in 1947 14.36%
Inflation in 1948 8.07%


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 1947 to 1948 (figures shown are purchasing power equivalents of $100):

Chicago, Illinois experienced the highest rate of inflation during the 1 years between 1947 and 1948 (8.71%).

New York experienced the lowest rate of inflation during the 1 years between 1947 and 1948 (6.80%).


Inflation by Country

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £100.00 in 1947 would be equivalent to £107.61 in 1948, an absolute change of £7.61 and a cumulative change of 7.61%.

In Canada, CA$100.00 in 1947 would be equivalent to CA$109.01 in 1948, an absolute change of CA$9.01 and a cumulative change of 9.01%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $8.07 and total percent change of 8.07%.


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 1947 and 1948.

Compare these values to the overall average of 8.07% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) $100 in 1947 → 1948
Food 8.41 8.41 108.41
Shelter 0.00 0.00 100.00
Energy 0.00 0.00 100.00
Apparel 6.64 6.64 106.64
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 6.68 6.68 106.68
Medical care commodities 0.00 0.00 100.00

It's important to note that not all categories may be tracked since 1947. This table and visualization use the earliest available data for each category.



How to Calculate Inflation Rate for $100, 1947 to 1948

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 1948CPI in 1947
×
1947 USD value
=
1948 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 22.3 in the year 1947 and 24.1 in 1948:

24.122.3
×
$100
=
$108.07

$100 in 1947 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $108.07 in 1948.

To get the total inflation rate for the 1 years between 1947 and 1948, we use the following formula:

CPI in 1948 - CPI in 1947CPI in 1947
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (1 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

24.1 - 22.322.3
×
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 1947, your investment would be worth approximately $112.31 in 1948. This is a change of 12.31%.

This means the nominal return on a $100 investment is $12.31, but inflation would eat into your real returns.

Inflation would account for 7.47% of your returns ($0.92), for an inflation-adjusted real return of about $11.39.


News headlines from 1947

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

  • Civil disorder in Taiwan is put down resulting in the loss of 30,000 civilian lives.
  • The new Japanese constitution comes into effect.
  • The alleged Roswell UFO incident happens.

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 1948 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 23 Oct. 2018, https://www.officialdata.org/inflation-rate-in-1948.

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


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