Phone service priced at $50 in 1998 $45.32 in 2020

Phone Service Inflation Calculator

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Prices for Phone Service, 1998-2020 ($50)

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices for telephone services were 9.36% lower in 2020 versus 1998 (a $4.68 difference in value).

Between 1998 and 2020: Phone service experienced an average inflation rate of -0.45% per year. In other words, phone service costing $50 in the year 1998 would cost $45.32 in 2020 for an equivalent purchase. Compared to the overall inflation rate of 2.11% during this same period, inflation for phone service was lower.

In the year 1998: Pricing changed by 0.67%, which is above the average yearly change for phone service during the 1998-2020 time period. Compared to inflation for all items in 1998 (1.55%), inflation for phone service was lower.

Price Inflation for Telephone services since 1997

Consumer Price Index, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Years with the largest changes in pricing: 2017 (-7.18%), 2007 (2.60%), and 2004 (-2.58%).

Raw Consumer Price Index data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for Telephone services:

Year 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 100.000 100.669 100.054 98.485 99.269 99.685 98.308 95.769 94.854 95.762 98.247 100.451 102.392 102.379 101.209 101.685 101.559 101.131 99.310 98.846 91.750 90.375 89.358 91.250

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Buying power of $50 since 1998

Below are calculations of equivalent buying power for Phone service, over time, for $50 beginning in 1998. Each of the amounts below is equivalent in terms of what it could buy at the time:

Year USD Value Inflation Rate
1998 $50.00 0.67%
1999 $49.69 -0.61%
2000 $48.91 -1.57%
2001 $49.30 0.80%
2002 $49.51 0.42%
2003 $48.83 -1.38%
2004 $47.57 -2.58%
2005 $47.11 -0.96%
2006 $47.56 0.96%
2007 $48.80 2.60%
2008 $49.89 2.24%
2009 $50.86 1.93%
2010 $50.85 -0.01%
2011 $50.27 -1.14%
2012 $50.50 0.47%
2013 $50.44 -0.12%
2014 $50.23 -0.42%
2015 $49.33 -1.80%
2016 $49.09 -0.47%
2017 $45.57 -7.18%
2018 $44.89 -1.50%
2019 $44.38 -1.13%
2020 $45.32 2.12%*
* Not final. See inflation summary for latest details.

How to calculate the inflation rate for phone service, 1998-2020

Start with the inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2020 / CPI in 1998 * 1998 USD value = 2020 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values from above. The CPI for Telephone services was 100.669 in the year 1998 and 91.250 in 2020:

91.250 / 100.669 * $50 = $45.32

Therefore, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, $50 in 1998 has the same "purchasing power" as $45.32 in 2020 (in the CPI category of Telephone services).


Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking the Consumer Price Index for Telephone services in 1997. In addition to phone service, the index produces monthly data on changes in prices paid by urban consumers for a variety of goods and services.

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