U.S. inflation rate in 1978: 7.59%

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U.S. Inflation Rate, 1978-2018 ($1)

The consumer price index (CPI) in 1978 was 65.2. the Bureau of Labor Statistics uses this CPI value to track inflation on a monthly basis.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, the dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 3.41% per year. Prices in 2018 are 282.0% higher than prices in 1978.

In other words, $1 in the year 1978 is equivalent in purchasing power to $3.82 in 2018, a difference of $2.82 over 40 years.

The current inflation rate in 2018 is 1.72%1. If this number holds, $1 today will be equivalent to $1.02 next year.

Inflation from 1978 to 2018
Cumulative price change 282.00%
Average inflation rate 3.41%
Price difference ($1 base) $2.82
CPI in 1978 65.2
CPI in 2018 248.991


U.S. inflation from 1913 to 2017


Inflation rates for specific categories

Fish and seafood · Jewelry · Wine at home · More

Inflation-adjusted measures

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

How to calculate the inflation rate for $1 since 1978

Start with the inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2018 / CPI in 1978 * 1978 USD value = 2018 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 65.2 in the year 1978 and 248.991 in 2018:

248.991 / 65.2 * $1 = $3.82

$1 in 1978 has the same "purchasing power" as $3.82 in 2018.


Inflation Data Source

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 1978 | Inflation Calculator.” FinanceRef Inflation Calculator, Alioth Finance, 22 Apr. 2018, http://www.in2013dollars.com/inflation-rate-in-1978.


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