U.S. inflation rate in 1949: -1.24%

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U.S. Inflation Rate, 1949-2017 ($1)

The consumer price index (CPI) in 1949 was 23.8. 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 3.49% per year. Prices in 2017 are 929.0% higher than prices in 1949.

In other words, $1 in the year 1949 is equivalent to $10.29 in 2017, a difference of $9.29 over 68 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 1949 to 2017
Cumulative price change 929.00%
Average inflation rate 3.49%
Price difference ($1 base) $9.29
CPI in 1949 23.8
CPI in 2017 244.786


U.S. inflation from 1913 to 2017


Inflation rates for specific categories

Medical care · Indoor plants and flowers · Airline fares · More

Inflation-adjusted measures

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

How to calculate the inflation rate for $1 since 1949

Start with the inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2017 / CPI in 1949 * 1949 USD value = 2017 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 23.8 in the year 1949 and 244.786 in 2017:

244.786 / 23.8 * $1 = $10.29

The "purchasing power" of $1 from 1949 is $10.29 in 2017.


News headlines from 1949

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

  • David Ben-Gurion's Mapai party wins the first Israeli election.
  • The Federal Republic of Germany, or West Germany, is created by the combination of the American, British and French occupation zones.
  • The Soviet Union ends the blockade of Berlin.
  • The People's Republic of China is proclaimed by Chinese Communist leaders.

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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