U.S. inflation rate in 1985: 3.56%

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U.S. Inflation Rate, 1985-2018 ($1)

The consumer price index (CPI) in 1985 was 107.6. 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 2.57% per year. Prices in 2018 are 131.0% higher than prices in 1985.

In other words, $1 in the year 1985 is equivalent in purchasing power to $2.31 in 2018, a difference of $1.31 over 33 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 1985 to 2018
Cumulative price change 131.00%
Average inflation rate 2.57%
Price difference ($1 base) $1.31
CPI in 1985 107.6
CPI in 2018 248.991


U.S. inflation from 1913 to 2017


Inflation rates for specific categories

New cars · Gasoline (all types) · Bananas · More

Inflation-adjusted measures

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

How to calculate the inflation rate for $1 since 1985

Start with the inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2018 / CPI in 1985 * 1985 USD value = 2018 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 107.6 in the year 1985 and 248.991 in 2018:

248.991 / 107.6 * $1 = $2.31

$1 in 1985 has the same "purchasing power" as $2.31 in 2018.


News headlines from 1985

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

  • Mikhail Gorbachev replaces Konstantin Chernenko as leader of the Soviet Union.
  • Earthquake with a magnitude of 8.1 rocks Mexico City and kills 10,000 people, leaving over 250,000 homeless.
  • Mikhail Gorbachev (leader of the Soviet Union) and Ronald Reagan (President of the United States) meet for the first time.
  • Ernie Wise makes the first mobile phone call in the UK.

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 1985 | Inflation Calculator.” FinanceRef Inflation Calculator, Alioth Finance, 17 Apr. 2018, http://www.in2013dollars.com/inflation-rate-in-1985.


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