# \$1 in 1990 is worth \$0.91 in 1988

\$

## Value of \$1 from 1990 to 1988

\$1 in 1990 is equivalent in purchasing power to about \$0.91 in 1988, an increase of \$-0.09 over 2 years. The dollar had an average inflation rate of 5.11% per year between 1988 and 1990, producing a cumulative price increase of -9.49%.

This means that prices in 1988 are 9.49% lower than average prices since 1990, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index.

The 1988 inflation rate was 4.14%. The inflation rate in 1990 was 5.40%. The 1990 inflation rate is higher compared to the average inflation rate of 2.41% per year between 1990 and 2021.

 Cumulative price change -9.49% Average inflation rate 5.11% Converted amount (\$1 base) \$0.91 Price difference (\$1 base) \$-0.09 CPI in 1990 130.700 CPI in 1988 118.300 Inflation in 1988 4.14% Inflation in 1990 5.40% \$1 in 1990 \$0.91 in 1988

USD Inflation since 1913
Annual Rate, the Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI

## Buying power of \$1 in 1988

This chart shows a calculation of buying power equivalence for \$1 in 1988 (price index tracking began in 1635).

For example, if you started with \$1, you would need to end with \$0.91 in order to "adjust" for inflation (sometimes refered to as "beating inflation").

When \$1 is equivalent to \$0.91 over time, that means that the "real value" of a single U.S. dollar decreases over time. In other words, a dollar will pay for fewer items at the store.

This effect explains how inflation erodes the value of a dollar over time. By calculating the value in 1988 dollars, the chart below shows how \$1 is worth less over 2 years.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, each of these USD amounts below is equal in terms of what it could buy at the time:

Dollar inflation: 1988-1990
Year Dollar Value Inflation Rate
1988 \$1.00 4.14%
1989 \$1.05 4.82%
1990 \$1.10 5.40%
1991 \$1.15 4.21%
1992 \$1.19 3.01%
1993 \$1.22 2.99%
1994 \$1.25 2.56%
1995 \$1.29 2.83%
1996 \$1.33 2.95%
1997 \$1.36 2.29%
1998 \$1.38 1.56%
1999 \$1.41 2.21%
2000 \$1.46 3.36%
2001 \$1.50 2.85%
2002 \$1.52 1.58%
2003 \$1.56 2.28%
2004 \$1.60 2.66%
2005 \$1.65 3.39%
2006 \$1.70 3.23%
2007 \$1.75 2.85%
2008 \$1.82 3.84%
2009 \$1.81 -0.36%
2010 \$1.84 1.64%
2011 \$1.90 3.16%
2012 \$1.94 2.07%
2013 \$1.97 1.46%
2014 \$2.00 1.62%
2015 \$2.00 0.12%
2016 \$2.03 1.26%
2017 \$2.07 2.13%
2018 \$2.12 2.49%
2019 \$2.16 1.76%
2020 \$2.19 1.23%
2021 \$2.31 5.70%*
* Compared to previous annual rate. Not final. See inflation summary for latest 12-month trailing value.

This conversion table shows various other 1988 amounts in 1990 dollars, based on the -9.49% change in prices:

Conversion: 1988 dollars in 1990
Initial value Equivalent value
\$1 dollar in 1988 \$1.10 dollars in 1990
\$5 dollars in 1988 \$5.52 dollars in 1990
\$10 dollars in 1988 \$11.05 dollars in 1990
\$50 dollars in 1988 \$55.24 dollars in 1990
\$100 dollars in 1988 \$110.48 dollars in 1990
\$500 dollars in 1988 \$552.41 dollars in 1990
\$1,000 dollars in 1988 \$1,104.82 dollars in 1990
\$5,000 dollars in 1988 \$5,524.09 dollars in 1990
\$10,000 dollars in 1988 \$11,048.18 dollars in 1990
\$50,000 dollars in 1988 \$55,240.91 dollars in 1990
\$100,000 dollars in 1988 \$110,481.83 dollars in 1990
\$500,000 dollars in 1988 \$552,409.13 dollars in 1990
\$1,000,000 dollars in 1988 \$1,104,818.26 dollars in 1990

## Inflation by City

Inflation can vary widely by city, even within the United States. Here's how some cities fared in 1990 to 1988 (figures shown are purchasing power equivalents of \$1):

New York experienced the highest rate of inflation during the 2 years between 1988 and 1990 (5.84%).

Atlanta, Georgia experienced the lowest rate of inflation during the 2 years between 1988 and 1990 (0.00%).

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 1990 would be equivalent to £0.85 in 1988, an absolute change of £-0.15 and a cumulative change of -15.24%.

In Canada, CA\$1.00 in 1990 would be equivalent to CA\$0.90 in 1988, an absolute change of CA\$-0.10 and a cumulative change of -9.51%.

Compare these numbers to the US's overall absolute change of \$-0.09 and total percent change of -9.49%.

## 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. This chart shows the average rate of inflation for select CPI categories between 1990 and 1988.

Compare these values to the overall average of 5.11% per year:

Category Avg Inflation (%) Total Inflation (%) \$1 in 1988 → 1990
Food and beverages 5.71 11.75 1.12
Housing 4.15 8.48 1.08
Apparel 3.70 7.55 1.08
Transportation 5.31 10.91 1.11
Medical care 8.36 17.43 1.17
Recreation 0.00 0.00 1.00
Education and communication 0.00 0.00 1.00
Other goods and services 7.72 16.03 1.16

The graph below compares inflation in categories of goods over time. Click on a category such as "Food" to toggle it on or off:

For all these visualizations, it's important to note that not all categories may have been tracked since 1990. This table and charts use the earliest available data for each category.

## How to Calculate Inflation Rate for \$1, 1988 to 1990

Our calculations use the following inflation rate formula to calculate the change in value between 1988 and 1990:

CPI in 1988 CPI in 1990
×
1990 USD value
=
1988 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 130.7 in the year 1990 and 118.3 in 1988:

118.3130.7
×
\$1
=
\$0.91

\$1 in 1990 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as \$0.91 in 1988.

To get the total inflation rate for the 2 years between 1988 and 1990, we use the following formula:

CPI in 1988 - CPI in 1990CPI in 1990
×
100
=
Cumulative inflation rate (2 years)

Plugging in the values to this equation, we get:

118.3 - 130.7130.7
×
100
=
-9%

## 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 4.77% per year between 1990 and 1988 (vs all-CPI inflation of 5.11%), for an inflation total of 9.76%.

When using the core inflation measurement, \$1 in 1990 is equivalent in buying power to \$1.10 in 1988, a difference of \$0.10. Recall that for All Items, the converted amount is \$0.91 with a difference of \$-0.09.

In 1990, core inflation was 4.41%.

## News headlines from 1988

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

• 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.

## Data Source & Citation

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: “\$1 in 1990 → 1988 | Inflation Calculator.” Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 18 Sep. 2021, https://www.officialdata.org/us/inflation/1990?amount=1&endYear=1988.

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.

#### 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.

 Cumulative price change -9.49% Average inflation rate 5.11% Converted amount (\$1 base) \$0.91 Price difference (\$1 base) \$-0.09 CPI in 1990 130.700 CPI in 1988 118.300 Inflation in 1988 4.14% Inflation in 1990 5.40% \$1 in 1990 \$0.91 in 1988