U.S. inflation rate in 1989: 4.82%

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U.S. Inflation Rate, 1989-2018 ($1)

The consumer price index (CPI) in 1989 was 124. 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 2.44% per year. Prices in 2018 are 101.0% higher than prices in 1989.

In other words, $1 in the year 1989 is equivalent in purchasing power to $2.01 in 2018, a difference of $1.01 over 29 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 1989 to 2018
Cumulative price change 101.00%
Average inflation rate 2.44%
Price difference ($1 base) $1.01
CPI in 1989 124
CPI in 2018 248.991


U.S. inflation from 1913 to 2017


Inflation rates for specific categories

Housing · Juices and nonalcoholic drinks · Legal services · More

Inflation-adjusted measures

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

How to calculate the inflation rate for $1 since 1989

Start with the inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2018 / CPI in 1989 * 1989 USD value = 2018 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 124 in the year 1989 and 248.991 in 2018:

248.991 / 124 * $1 = $2.01

$1 in 1989 has the same "purchasing power" as $2.01 in 2018.


News headlines from 1989

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

  • Chinese troops kill an estimated 1,000 students protesting at Tiananmen Square.
  • The first (partially) free elections take place in Poland, bringing democracy to Eastern Europe for the first time in 40 years. (Won by the Solidarity Party)
  • The demolition of the Berlin Wall begins.
  • Presidents George H. W. Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev, declare that the Cold War has ended.

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 1989 | Inflation Calculator.” FinanceRef Inflation Calculator, Alioth Finance, 22 Apr. 2018, http://www.in2013dollars.com/inflation-rate-in-1989.


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