U.S. inflation rate in 1990: 5.40%

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U.S. Inflation Rate, 1990-2017 ($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, the dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 2.35% per year. Prices in 2017 are 87.0% higher than prices in 1990.

In other words, $1 in the year 1990 is equivalent to $1.87 in 2017, a difference of $0.87 over 27 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 1990 to 2017
Cumulative price change 87.00%
Average inflation rate 2.35%
Price difference ($1 base) $0.87
CPI in 1990 130.7
CPI in 2017 244.786


U.S. inflation from 1913 to 2017


Inflation rates for specific categories

Bread · Airline fares · 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 2017 / CPI in 1990 * 1990 USD value = 2017 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 130.7 in the year 1990 and 244.786 in 2017:

244.786 / 130.7 * $1 = $1.87

The "purchasing power" of $1 from 1990 is $1.87 in 2017.


News headlines from 1990

Politics and news often play an important role in economic performance.

  • 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: 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.


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