U.S. inflation rate in 2018: 2.49%

Inflation in 2018 and its effect on dollar value

$1 in 2017 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $1.02 in 2018. The dollar had an average inflation rate of 2.49% per year between 2017 and 2018, producing a cumulative price increase of 2.49%. Purchasing power decreased by 2.49% in 2018 compared to 2017. On average, you would have to spend 2.49% more money in 2018 than in 2017 for the same item.

This means that prices in 2018 are 1.02 times higher than average prices since 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index.

The inflation rate in 2017 was 2.13%. The inflation rate in 2018 was 2.49%. The 2018 inflation rate is lower compared to the average inflation rate of 3.86% per year between 2018 and 2022.

Inflation rate is calculated by change in the consumer price index (CPI). The CPI in 2018 was 251.23. It was 245.12 in the previous year, 2017. The difference in CPI between the years is used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to officially determine inflation.

Inflation from 2017 to 2018
Average inflation rate 2.49%
Converted amount ($1 base) $1.02
Price difference ($1 base) $0.02
CPI in 2017 245.120
CPI in 2018 251.230
Inflation in 2017 2.13%
Inflation in 2018 2.49%
$1 in 2017 $1.02 in 2018

Recent USD inflation
Annual Rate, the Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI

Inflation by City

Inflation can vary widely by city, even within the United States. Here's how some cities fared in 2017 to 2018 (figures shown are purchasing power equivalents of $1):

San Diego, California experienced the highest rate of inflation during the 1 years between 2017 and 2018 (5.47%).

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania experienced the lowest rate of inflation during the 1 years between 2017 and 2018 (1.33%).

Note that some locations showing 0% inflation may have not yet reported latest data.

Inflation by Country

Inflation can also vary widely by country. For comparison, in the UK £1.00 in 2017 would be equivalent to £1.03 in 2018, an absolute change of £0.03 and a cumulative change of 2.70%.

In Canada, CA$1.00 in 2017 would be equivalent to CA$1.02 in 2018, an absolute change of CA$0.02 and a cumulative change of 2.27%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of $0.02 and total percent change of 2.49%.

Inflation by Spending Category

CPI is the weighted combination of many categories of spending that are tracked by the government. Breaking down these categories helps explain the main drivers behind price changes.

Between 2017 and 2018:

This chart shows the average rate of inflation for select CPI categories between 2017 and 2018.

Compare these values to the overall average of 2.49% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) $1 in 2017 → 2018
Food and beverages 1.40 1.40 1.01
Housing 2.88 2.88 1.03
Apparel 0.03 0.03 1.00
Transportation 4.51 4.51 1.05
Medical care 1.97 1.97 1.02
Recreation 0.49 0.49 1.00
Education and communication 0.20 0.20 1.00
Other goods and services 2.25 2.25 1.02

For all these visualizations, it's important to note that not all categories may have been tracked since 2017. This table and charts use the earliest available data for each category.

How to calculate inflation rate for $1, 2017 to 2018

Our calculations use the following inflation rate formula to calculate the change in value between 2017 and 2018:

CPI in 2018 CPI in 2017
2017 USD value
2018 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 245.12 in the year 2017 and 251.23 in 2018:


$1 in 2017 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $1.02 in 2018.

To get the total inflation rate for the 1 years between 2017 and 2018, we use the following formula:

CPI in 2018 - CPI in 2017CPI in 2017
Cumulative inflation rate (1 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

251.23 - 245.12245.12

Alternate Measurements of Inflation

The above data describe the CPI for all items. Also of note is the Core CPI, which measures inflation for all items except for the more volatile categories of food and energy. Core inflation averaged 2.14% per year between 2017 and 2018 (vs all-CPI inflation of 2.49%), for an inflation total of 2.14%.

When using the core inflation measurement, $1 in 2017 is equivalent in buying power to $1.02 in 2018, a difference of $0.02. Recall that for All Items, the converted amount is $1.02 with a difference of $0.02.

In 2017, core inflation was 1.84%.

Chained CPI is an alternative measurement that takes into account how consumers adjust spending for similar items. Chained inflation averaged 2.02% per year between 2017 and 2018, a total inflation amount of 2.02%.

According to the Chained CPI measurement, $1 in 2017 is equal in buying power to $1.02 in 2018, a difference of $0.02 (versus a converted amount of $1.02/change of $0.02 for All Items).

In 2017, chained inflation was 1.76%.

Comparison to S&P 500 Index

To help put this inflation into perspective, if we had invested $1 in the S&P 500 index in 2017, our investment would be nominally worth approximately $1.19 in 2018. This is a return on investment of 19.03%, with an absolute return of $0.19 on top of the original $1.

These numbers are not inflation adjusted, so they are considered nominal. In order to evaluate the real return on our investment, we must calculate the return with inflation taken into account.

The compounding effect of inflation would account for 2.43% of returns ($0.03) during this period. This means the inflation-adjusted real return of our $1 investment is $0.16. You may also want to account for capital gains tax, which would take your real return down to around $0 for most people.

Investment in S&P 500 Index, 2017-2018
Original Amount Final Amount Change
Nominal $1 $1.19 19.03%
Inflation Adjusted
$1 $1.16 16.13%

Information displayed above may differ slightly from other S&P 500 calculators. Minor discrepancies can occur because we use the latest CPI data for inflation, annualized inflation numbers for previous years, and we compute S&P price and dividends from January of 2017 to latest available data for 2018 using average monthly close price.

For more details on the S&P 500 between 2017 and 2018, see the stock market returns calculator.

Data source & citation

Raw data for these calculations comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (CPI), established in 1913. Inflation data from 1634 to 1912 is sourced from a historical study conducted by political science professor Robert Sahr at Oregon State University and from the American Antiquarian Society.

You may use the following MLA citation for this page: “Inflation Rate in 2018 | Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 25 Jun. 2022, https://www.officialdata.org/inflation-rate-in-2018.

Special thanks to QuickChart for their chart image API, which is used for chart downloads.

in2013dollars.com is a reference website maintained by the Official Data Foundation.

Ian Webster

About the author

Ian Webster is an engineer and data expert based in San Mateo, California. He has worked for Google, NASA, and consulted for governments around the world on data pipelines and data analysis. Disappointed by the lack of clear resources on the impacts of inflation on economic indicators, Ian believes this website serves as a valuable public tool. Ian earned his degree in Computer Science from Dartmouth College.

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» Read more about inflation and investment.

Inflation from 2017 to 2018
Average inflation rate 2.49%
Converted amount ($1 base) $1.02
Price difference ($1 base) $0.02
CPI in 2017 245.120
CPI in 2018 251.230
Inflation in 2017 2.13%
Inflation in 2018 2.49%
$1 in 2017 $1.02 in 2018