U.S. inflation rate in 1990: 5.40%

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U.S. Inflation Rate, 1990-2018 ($1)

The consumer price index (CPI) in 1990 was 130.7. 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 2.30% per year. Prices in 2018 are 89.0% higher than prices in 1990.

In other words, $1 in the year 1990 is equivalent in purchasing power to $1.89 in 2018, a difference of $0.89 over 28 years.

The current inflation rate in 2018 is 0.77%1. If this number holds, $1 today will be equivalent to $1.01 next year.

Inflation from 1990 to 2018
Cumulative price change 89.00%
Average inflation rate 2.30%
Price difference ($1 base) $0.89
CPI in 1990 130.7
CPI in 2018 246.669


U.S. inflation from 1913 to 2017


Inflation rates for specific categories

Bread · Indoor plants and flowers · New cars · More

Inflation-adjusted measures

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

How to calculate the inflation rate for $1 since 1990

Start with the inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2018 / CPI in 1990 * 1990 USD value = 2018 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 130.7 in the year 1990 and 246.669 in 2018:

246.669 / 130.7 * $1 = $1.89

$1 in 1990 has the same "purchasing power" as $1.89 in 2018.


News headlines from 1990

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

  • Nelson Mandela is released having spent 27 years in South African prison.
  • The Hubble Space Telescope takes its first photos from space.
  • Dr Penny Jamieson, becomes the first woman to be made an Anglican Bishop, in New Zeeland
  • The United States sends troops to Saudi Arabia, marking the beginning of Operation Desert Shield.

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 1990 | Inflation Calculator.” FinanceRef Inflation Calculator, Alioth Finance, 17 Jan. 2018, http://www.in2013dollars.com/inflation-rate-in-1990.


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