U.S. inflation rate in 1996: 2.95%

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U.S. Inflation Rate, 1996-2018 ($1)

The consumer price index (CPI) in 1996 was 156.9. 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 2.07% per year. Prices in 2018 are 57.0% higher than prices in 1996.

In other words, $1 in the year 1996 is equivalent in purchasing power to $1.57 in 2018, a difference of $0.57 over 22 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 1996 to 2018
Cumulative price change 57.00%
Average inflation rate 2.07%
Price difference ($1 base) $0.57
CPI in 1996 156.9
CPI in 2018 246.669


U.S. inflation from 1913 to 2017


Inflation rates for specific categories

Wireless telephone services · Alcoholic beverages · Food · More

Inflation-adjusted measures

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

How to calculate the inflation rate for $1 since 1996

Start with the inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2018 / CPI in 1996 * 1996 USD value = 2018 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 156.9 in the year 1996 and 246.669 in 2018:

246.669 / 156.9 * $1 = $1.57

$1 in 1996 has the same "purchasing power" as $1.57 in 2018.


News headlines from 1996

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

  • The Motorola StarTAC, the first clamshell flip phone, goes on sale worldwide.
  • Osama bin Laden issues "A declaration of war against the Americans occupying the land of the two holy places".
  • Bill Clinton signs the Welfare Reform Bill into law.

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 1996 | Inflation Calculator.” FinanceRef Inflation Calculator, Alioth Finance, 17 Jan. 2018, http://www.in2013dollars.com/inflation-rate-in-1996.


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