U.S. inflation rate in 1988: 4.14%

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U.S. Inflation Rate, 1988-2018 ($1)

The consumer price index (CPI) in 1988 was 118.3. 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 2.50% per year. Prices in 2018 are 110.0% higher than prices in 1988.

In other words, $1 in the year 1988 is equivalent in purchasing power to $2.10 in 2018, a difference of $1.10 over 30 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 1988 to 2018
Cumulative price change 110.00%
Average inflation rate 2.50%
Price difference ($1 base) $1.10
CPI in 1988 118.3
CPI in 2018 248.991


U.S. inflation from 1913 to 2017


Inflation rates for specific categories

Electricity · College tuition and fees · Housing · More

Inflation-adjusted measures

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

How to calculate the inflation rate for $1 since 1988

Start with the inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2018 / CPI in 1988 * 1988 USD value = 2018 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 118.3 in the year 1988 and 248.991 in 2018:

248.991 / 118.3 * $1 = $2.10

$1 in 1988 has the same "purchasing power" as $2.10 in 2018.


News headlines from 1988

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

  • The USSR withdraws its troops from Afghanistan.
  • Iran and Iraq, announce a ceasefire after 8 years of war.
  • Approximately 50,000 Kurdish civilians and soldiers are killed by Iraq.
  • Mikhail Gorbachev Chairman becomes president of the USSR.
  • Benazir Bhutto becomes the first female leader of a Muslim country in Pakistan

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 1988 | Inflation Calculator.” FinanceRef Inflation Calculator, Alioth Finance, 19 Apr. 2018, http://www.in2013dollars.com/inflation-rate-in-1988.


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