Motor fuel priced at $20 in 1986 $52.19 in 2020

Motor Fuel Inflation Calculator

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Prices for Motor Fuel, 1986-2020 ($20)

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices for motor fuel were 160.96% higher in 2020 versus 1986 (a $32.19 difference in value).

Between 1986 and 2020: Motor fuel experienced an average inflation rate of 2.86% per year. This rate of change indicates significant inflation. In other words, motor fuel costing $20 in the year 1986 would cost $52.19 in 2020 for an equivalent purchase. Compared to the overall inflation rate of 2.54% during this same period, inflation for motor fuel was higher.

In the year 1986: Pricing changed by -21.70%, which is significantly below the average yearly change for motor fuel during the 1986-2020 time period. Compared to inflation for all items in 1986 (1.90%), inflation for motor fuel was much lower.

Price Inflation for Motor fuel since 1967

Consumer Price Index, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Years with the largest changes in pricing: 1980 (38.98%), 1974 (35.30%), and 1979 (35.12%).

Raw Consumer Price Index data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for Motor fuel:

Year 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
CPI 26.400 26.775 27.650 27.883 28.067 28.417 31.183 42.192 45.075 46.983 49.725 51.875 70.092 97.417 108.475 102.800 99.333 97.867 98.642 77.233 80.183 80.842 88.442 101.083 99.458 99.033 98.108 98.492 99.942 106.250 106.292 92.175 100.708 129.300 124.500 116.550 136.133 160.508 195.775 220.592 239.136 278.659 202.583 239.679 302.243 312.475 303.653 291.834 212.513 188.276 213.047 241.720 233.095 201.546

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Buying power of $20 since 1986

Below are calculations of equivalent buying power for Motor fuel, over time, for $20 beginning in 1986. Each of the amounts below is equivalent in terms of what it could buy at the time:

Year USD Value Inflation Rate
1986 $20.00 -21.70%
1987 $20.76 3.82%
1988 $20.93 0.82%
1989 $22.90 9.40%
1990 $26.18 14.29%
1991 $25.76 -1.61%
1992 $25.65 -0.43%
1993 $25.41 -0.93%
1994 $25.50 0.39%
1995 $25.88 1.47%
1996 $27.51 6.31%
1997 $27.52 0.04%
1998 $23.87 -13.28%
1999 $26.08 9.26%
2000 $33.48 28.39%
2001 $32.24 -3.71%
2002 $30.18 -6.39%
2003 $35.25 16.80%
2004 $41.56 17.91%
2005 $50.70 21.97%
2006 $57.12 12.68%
2007 $61.93 8.41%
2008 $72.16 16.53%
2009 $52.46 -27.30%
2010 $62.07 18.31%
2011 $78.27 26.10%
2012 $80.92 3.39%
2013 $78.63 -2.82%
2014 $75.57 -3.89%
2015 $55.03 -27.18%
2016 $48.76 -11.40%
2017 $55.17 13.16%
2018 $62.59 13.46%
2019 $60.36 -3.57%
2020 $52.19 -13.53%*
* Not final. See inflation summary for latest details.

How to calculate the inflation rate for motor fuel, 1986-2020

Start with the inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2020 / CPI in 1986 * 1986 USD value = 2020 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values from above. The CPI for Motor fuel was 77.233 in the year 1986 and 201.546 in 2020:

201.546 / 77.233 * $20 = $52.19

Therefore, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, $20 in 1986 has the same "purchasing power" as $52.19 in 2020 (in the CPI category of Motor fuel).


Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking the Consumer Price Index for Motor fuel in 1967. In addition to motor fuel, the index produces monthly data on changes in prices paid by urban consumers for a variety of goods and services.

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