U.S. inflation rate in 1978: 7.59%

Inflation Calculator

$

U.S. Inflation Rate, 1978-2017 ($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, the dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 3.45% per year. Prices in 2017 are 275.0% higher than prices in 1978.

In other words, $1 in the year 1978 is equivalent to $3.75 in 2017, a difference of $2.75 over 39 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 1978 to 2017
Cumulative price change 275.00%
Average inflation rate 3.45%
Price difference ($1 base) $2.75
CPI in 1978 65.2
CPI in 2017 244.786


U.S. inflation from 1913 to 2017


Inflation rates for specific categories

Fish and seafood · Rent of primary residence · Baby food · 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 2017 / CPI in 1978 * 1978 USD value = 2017 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 65.2 in the year 1978 and 244.786 in 2017:

244.786 / 65.2 * $1 = $3.75

The "purchasing power" of $1 from 1978 is $3.75 in 2017.


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.


» Read more about inflation.