U.S. inflation rate in 1953: 0.75%

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Inflation in 1953 and Its Effect on Dollar Value

Purchasing power decreased by 0.75% in 1953 compared to the previous year, 1952. On average, you would have to spend 0.75% more money in 1953 than in 1952 for the same item.

In other words, $1 in 1952 is equivalent in purchasing power to $1.01 in 1953.

The 1952 inflation rate was 1.92%. The inflation rate in 1953 was 0.75%. The 1953 inflation rate is lower compared to the average inflation rate of 3.52% per year between 1953 and 2018.

Inflation rate is calculated by change in the consumer price index (CPI). The CPI in 1953 was 26.7. It was 26.5 in the previous year, 1952. The difference in CPI between the years is used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to officially determine inflation.

Inflation from 1952 to 1953
Average inflation rate 0.75%
Converted amount ($1 base) $1.01
Price difference ($1 base) $0.01
CPI in 1952 26.500
CPI in 1953 26.700
Inflation in 1952 1.92%
Inflation in 1953 0.75%

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 1952 to 1953 (figures shown are purchasing power equivalents of $1):

San Francisco, California experienced the highest rate of inflation during the 1 years between 1952 and 1953 (1.83%).

Boston, Massachusetts experienced the lowest rate of inflation during the 1 years between 1952 and 1953 (0.26%).

Note that some locations showing 0% inflation may have not yet reported latest data.

Inflation by Country

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £1.00 in 1952 would be equivalent to £1.03 in 1953, an absolute change of £0.03 and a cumulative change of 3.05%.

In Canada, CA$1.00 in 1952 would be equivalent to CA$1.00 in 1953, an absolute change of CA$0.00 and a cumulative change of 0.00%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $0.01 and total percent change of 0.75%.

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 1952 and 1953.

Compare these values to the overall average of 0.75% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) $1 in 1952 → 1953
Food -1.58 -1.58 0.98
Shelter 1.85 1.85 1.02
Energy 0.00 0.00 1.00
Apparel -0.65 -0.65 0.99
New vehicles 0.00 0.00 1.00
Used cars and trucks 0.00 0.00 1.00
Transportation services 0.00 0.00 1.00
Medical care services 3.34 3.34 1.03
Medical care commodities 0.00 0.00 1.00

It's important to note that not all categories may be tracked since 1952. This table and visualization use the earliest available data for each category.

How to Calculate Inflation Rate for $1, 1952 to 1953

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 1953CPI in 1952
1952 USD value
1953 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 26.5 in the year 1952 and 26.7 in 1953:


$1 in 1952 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $1.01 in 1953.

To get the total inflation rate for the 1 years between 1952 and 1953, we use the following formula:

CPI in 1953 - CPI in 1952CPI in 1952
Cumulative inflation rate (1 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

26.7 - 26.526.5

Comparison to S&P 500 Index

To help put this inflation into perspective, if we had invested $1 in the S&P 500 index in 1952, our investment would be nominally worth approximately $1.18 in 1953. This is a return on investment of 18.14%, with an absolute return of $0.18.

These numbers are not inflation adjusted, so they are considered nominal. In order to evaluate the real return on our investment, we must calculate the return with inflation taken into account.

The compounding effect of inflation would account for 0.75% of returns ($0.00) during this period. This means the inflation-adjusted real return of our $1 investment is $0.18.

Investment in S&P 500 Index, 1952-1953
Original Amount Final Amount Change
Nominal $1 $1.18 18.14%
Inflation Adjusted
$1 $0.18 18.01%

News headlines from 1952

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

  • Queen Elizabeth II's succeeds King George VI to the British throne.
  • The concept of the integrated circuit, the basis of modern computers, is published for the first time by Geoffrey Dummer.

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 1953 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 13 Nov. 2018, https://www.officialdata.org/inflation-rate-in-1953.

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

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