# Consumer Price Inflation Calculator

A dollar doesn’t seem to buy what it used to. Does it? In fact, this calculator can show you just how much inflation has affected the buying power of a specific amount of money. This calculator shows how inflation has affected consumer buying power over time. Results are based on the annual average CPI (Consumer Price Index), as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, for the years 1913 to 2020. Data is estimated for 2021 through 2026.

First enter a dollar amount. How about \$5? Then pick a base year and a result year from the corresponding pull-down menus. Let’s look at the year 1999 all the way to 2020. Press CALCULATE, and you’ll discover that \$5 had the same buying power in 1999 that \$7.77 has now. If you’d like, you can consider longer or shorter periods of time. No matter what you do, though, you’ll see that the value of a dollar typically declines over time, increasing the cost of living. Data used in the calculator comes from the BLS January date for the corresponding year & is shown under the "Data" tab.

Amount & Years Data
Dollar amount:
Base year:
Result year:
in
has the same buying power as
in

CPI-All Urban Consumers (Current Series)
Original Data Value
Series Id: CUUR0000SA0
Series Title: All items in U.S. city average, all urban consumers, not seasonally adjusted
Area: U.S. city average
Item: All items
Base Period: 1982-84 = 100
Years: 1913 to 2018

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec HALF1 HALF2
1913 9.8 9.8 9.8 9.8 9.7 9.8 9.9 9.9 10.0 10.0 10.1 10.0
1914 10.0 9.9 9.9 9.8 9.9 9.9 10.0 10.2 10.2 10.1 10.2 10.1
1915 10.1 10.0 9.9 10.0 10.1 10.1 10.1 10.1 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.3
1916 10.4 10.4 10.5 10.6 10.7 10.8 10.8 10.9 11.1 11.3 11.5 11.6
1917 11.7 12.0 12.0 12.6 12.8 13.0 12.8 13.0 13.3 13.5 13.5 13.7
1918 14.0 14.1 14.0 14.2 14.5 14.7 15.1 15.4 15.7 16.0 16.3 16.5
1919 16.5 16.2 16.4 16.7 16.9 16.9 17.4 17.7 17.8 18.1 18.5 18.9
1920 19.3 19.5 19.7 20.3 20.6 20.9 20.8 20.3 20.0 19.9 19.8 19.4
1921 19.0 18.4 18.3 18.1 17.7 17.6 17.7 17.7 17.5 17.5 17.4 17.3
1922 16.9 16.9 16.7 16.7 16.7 16.7 16.8 16.6 16.6 16.7 16.8 16.9
1923 16.8 16.8 16.8 16.9 16.9 17.0 17.2 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.3 17.3
1924 17.3 17.2 17.1 17.0 17.0 17.0 17.1 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.2 17.3
1925 17.3 17.2 17.3 17.2 17.3 17.5 17.7 17.7 17.7 17.7 18.0 17.9
1926 17.9 17.9 17.8 17.9 17.8 17.7 17.5 17.4 17.5 17.6 17.7 17.7
1927 17.5 17.4 17.3 17.3 17.4 17.6 17.3 17.2 17.3 17.4 17.3 17.3
1928 17.3 17.1 17.1 17.1 17.2 17.1 17.1 17.1 17.3 17.2 17.2 17.1
1929 17.1 17.1 17.0 16.9 17.0 17.1 17.3 17.3 17.3 17.3 17.3 17.2
1930 17.1 17.0 16.9 17.0 16.9 16.8 16.6 16.5 16.6 16.5 16.4 16.1
1931 15.9 15.7 15.6 15.5 15.3 15.1 15.1 15.1 15.0 14.9 14.7 14.6
1932 14.3 14.1 14.0 13.9 13.7 13.6 13.6 13.5 13.4 13.3 13.2 13.1
1933 12.9 12.7 12.6 12.6 12.6 12.7 13.1 13.2 13.2 13.2 13.2 13.2
1934 13.2 13.3 13.3 13.3 13.3 13.4 13.4 13.4 13.6 13.5 13.5 13.4
1935 13.6 13.7 13.7 13.8 13.8 13.7 13.7 13.7 13.7 13.7 13.8 13.8
1936 13.8 13.8 13.7 13.7 13.7 13.8 13.9 14.0 14.0 14.0 14.0 14.0
1937 14.1 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.4 14.5 14.5 14.6 14.6 14.5 14.4
1938 14.2 14.1 14.1 14.2 14.1 14.1 14.1 14.1 14.1 14.0 14.0 14.0
1939 14.0 13.9 13.9 13.8 13.8 13.8 13.8 13.8 14.1 14.0 14.0 14.0
1940 13.9 14.0 14.0 14.0 14.0 14.1 14.0 14.0 14.0 14.0 14.0 14.1
1941 14.1 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.7 14.7 14.9 15.1 15.3 15.4 15.5
1942 15.7 15.8 16.0 16.1 16.3 16.3 16.4 16.5 16.5 16.7 16.8 16.9
1943 16.9 16.9 17.2 17.4 17.5 17.5 17.4 17.3 17.4 17.4 17.4 17.4
1944 17.4 17.4 17.4 17.5 17.5 17.6 17.7 17.7 17.7 17.7 17.7 17.8
1945 17.8 17.8 17.8 17.8 17.9 18.1 18.1 18.1 18.1 18.1 18.1 18.2
1946 18.2 18.1 18.3 18.4 18.5 18.7 19.8 20.2 20.4 20.8 21.3 21.5
1947 21.5 21.5 21.9 21.9 21.9 22.0 22.2 22.5 23.0 23.0 23.1 23.4
1948 23.7 23.5 23.4 23.8 23.9 24.1 24.4 24.5 24.5 24.4 24.2 24.1
1949 24.0 23.8 23.8 23.9 23.8 23.9 23.7 23.8 23.9 23.7 23.8 23.6
1950 23.5 23.5 23.6 23.6 23.7 23.8 24.1 24.3 24.4 24.6 24.7 25.0
1951 25.4 25.7 25.8 25.8 25.9 25.9 25.9 25.9 26.1 26.2 26.4 26.5
1952 26.5 26.3 26.3 26.4 26.4 26.5 26.7 26.7 26.7 26.7 26.7 26.7
1953 26.6 26.5 26.6 26.6 26.7 26.8 26.8 26.9 26.9 27.0 26.9 26.9
1954 26.9 26.9 26.9 26.8 26.9 26.9 26.9 26.9 26.8 26.8 26.8 26.7
1955 26.7 26.7 26.7 26.7 26.7 26.7 26.8 26.8 26.9 26.9 26.9 26.8
1956 26.8 26.8 26.8 26.9 27.0 27.2 27.4 27.3 27.4 27.5 27.5 27.6
1957 27.6 27.7 27.8 27.9 28.0 28.1 28.3 28.3 28.3 28.3 28.4 28.4
1958 28.6 28.6 28.8 28.9 28.9 28.9 29.0 28.9 28.9 28.9 29.0 28.9
1959 29.0 28.9 28.9 29.0 29.0 29.1 29.2 29.2 29.3 29.4 29.4 29.4
1960 29.3 29.4 29.4 29.5 29.5 29.6 29.6 29.6 29.6 29.8 29.8 29.8
1961 29.8 29.8 29.8 29.8 29.8 29.8 30.0 29.9 30.0 30.0 30.0 30.0
1962 30.0 30.1 30.1 30.2 30.2 30.2 30.3 30.3 30.4 30.4 30.4 30.4
1963 30.4 30.4 30.5 30.5 30.5 30.6 30.7 30.7 30.7 30.8 30.8 30.9
1964 30.9 30.9 30.9 30.9 30.9 31.0 31.1 31.0 31.1 31.1 31.2 31.2
1965 31.2 31.2 31.3 31.4 31.4 31.6 31.6 31.6 31.6 31.7 31.7 31.8
1966 31.8 32.0 32.1 32.3 32.3 32.4 32.5 32.7 32.7 32.9 32.9 32.9
1967 32.9 32.9 33.0 33.1 33.2 33.3 33.4 33.5 33.6 33.7 33.8 33.9
1968 34.1 34.2 34.3 34.4 34.5 34.7 34.9 35.0 35.1 35.3 35.4 35.5
1969 35.6 35.8 36.1 36.3 36.4 36.6 36.8 37.0 37.1 37.3 37.5 37.7
1970 37.8 38.0 38.2 38.5 38.6 38.8 39.0 39.0 39.2 39.4 39.6 39.8
1971 39.8 39.9 40.0 40.1 40.3 40.6 40.7 40.8 40.8 40.9 40.9 41.1
1972 41.1 41.3 41.4 41.5 41.6 41.7 41.9 42.0 42.1 42.3 42.4 42.5
1973 42.6 42.9 43.3 43.6 43.9 44.2 44.3 45.1 45.2 45.6 45.9 46.2
1974 46.6 47.2 47.8 48.0 48.6 49.0 49.4 50.0 50.6 51.1 51.5 51.9
1975 52.1 52.5 52.7 52.9 53.2 53.6 54.2 54.3 54.6 54.9 55.3 55.5
1976 55.6 55.8 55.9 56.1 56.5 56.8 57.1 57.4 57.6 57.9 58.0 58.2
1977 58.5 59.1 59.5 60.0 60.3 60.7 61.0 61.2 61.4 61.6 61.9 62.1
1978 62.5 62.9 63.4 63.9 64.5 65.2 65.7 66.0 66.5 67.1 67.4 67.7
1979 68.3 69.1 69.8 70.6 71.5 72.3 73.1 73.8 74.6 75.2 75.9 76.7
1980 77.8 78.9 80.1 81.0 81.8 82.7 82.7 83.3 84.0 84.8 85.5 86.3
1981 87.0 87.9 88.5 89.1 89.8 90.6 91.6 92.3 93.2 93.4 93.7 94.0
1982 94.3 94.6 94.5 94.9 95.8 97.0 97.5 97.7 97.9 98.2 98.0 97.6
1983 97.8 97.9 97.9 98.6 99.2 99.5 99.9 100.2 100.7 101.0 101.2 101.3
1984 101.9 102.4 102.6 103.1 103.4 103.7 104.1 104.5 105.0 105.3 105.3 105.3 102.9 104.9
1985 105.5 106.0 106.4 106.9 107.3 107.6 107.8 108.0 108.3 108.7 109.0 109.3 106.6 108.5
1986 109.6 109.3 108.8 108.6 108.9 109.5 109.5 109.7 110.2 110.3 110.4 110.5 109.1 110.1
1987 111.2 111.6 112.1 112.7 113.1 113.5 113.8 114.4 115.0 115.3 115.4 115.4 112.4 114.9
1988 115.7 116.0 116.5 117.1 117.5 118.0 118.5 119.0 119.8 120.2 120.3 120.5 116.8 119.7
1989 121.1 121.6 122.3 123.1 123.8 124.1 124.4 124.6 125.0 125.6 125.9 126.1 122.7 125.3
1990 127.4 128.0 128.7 128.9 129.2 129.9 130.4 131.6 132.7 133.5 133.8 133.8 128.7 132.6
1991 134.6 134.8 135.0 135.2 135.6 136.0 136.2 136.6 137.2 137.4 137.8 137.9 135.2 137.2
1992 138.1 138.6 139.3 139.5 139.7 140.2 140.5 140.9 141.3 141.8 142.0 141.9 139.2 141.4
1993 142.6 143.1 143.6 144.0 144.2 144.4 144.4 144.8 145.1 145.7 145.8 145.8 143.7 145.3
1994 146.2 146.7 147.2 147.4 147.5 148.0 148.4 149.0 149.4 149.5 149.7 149.7 147.2 149.3
1995 150.3 150.9 151.4 151.9 152.2 152.5 152.5 152.9 153.2 153.7 153.6 153.5 151.5 153.2
1996 154.4 154.9 155.7 156.3 156.6 156.7 157.0 157.3 157.8 158.3 158.6 158.6 155.8 157.9
1997 159.1 159.6 160.0 160.2 160.1 160.3 160.5 160.8 161.2 161.6 161.5 161.3 159.9 161.2
1998 161.6 161.9 162.2 162.5 162.8 163.0 163.2 163.4 163.6 164.0 164.0 163.9 162.3 163.7
1999 164.3 164.5 165.0 166.2 166.2 166.2 166.7 167.1 167.9 168.2 168.3 168.3 165.4 167.8
2000 168.8 169.8 171.2 171.3 171.5 172.4 172.8 172.8 173.7 174.0 174.1 174.0 170.8 173.6
2001 175.1 175.8 176.2 176.9 177.7 178.0 177.5 177.5 178.3 177.7 177.4 176.7 176.6 177.5
2002 177.1 177.8 178.8 179.8 179.8 179.9 180.1 180.7 181.0 181.3 181.3 180.9 178.9 180.9
2003 181.7 183.1 184.2 183.8 183.5 183.7 183.9 184.6 185.2 185.0 184.5 184.3 183.3 184.6
2004 185.2 186.2 187.4 188.0 189.1 189.7 189.4 189.5 189.9 190.9 191.0 190.3 187.6 190.2
2005 190.7 191.8 193.3 194.6 194.4 194.5 195.4 196.4 198.8 199.2 197.6 196.8 193.2 197.4
2006 198.3 198.7 199.8 201.5 202.5 202.9 203.5 203.9 202.9 201.8 201.5 201.8 200.6 202.6
2007 202.416 203.499 205.352 206.686 207.949 208.352 208.299 207.917 208.490 208.936 210.177 210.036 205.709 208.976
2008 211.080 211.693 213.528 214.823 216.632 218.815 219.964 219.086 218.783 216.573 212.425 210.228 214.429 216.177
2009 211.143 212.193 212.709 213.240 213.856 215.693 215.351 215.834 215.969 216.177 216.330 215.949 213.139 215.935
2010 216.687 216.741 217.631 218.009 218.178 217.965 218.011 218.312 218.439 218.711 218.803 219.179 217.535 218.576
2011 220.223 221.309 223.467 224.906 225.964 225.722 225.922 226.545 226.889 226.421 226.230 225.672 223.598 226.280
2012 226.665 227.663 229.392 230.085 229.815 229.478 229.104 230.379 231.407 231.317 230.221 229.601 228.850 230.338
2013 230.280 232.166 232.773 232.531 232.945 233.504 233.596 233.877 234.149 233.546 233.069 233.049 232.366 233.548
2014 233.916 234.781 236.293 237.072 237.900 238.343 238.250 237.852 238.031 237.433 236.151 234.812 236.384 237.088
2015 233.707 234.722 236.119 236.599 237.805 238.638 238.654 238.316 237.945 237.838 237.336 236.525 236.265 237.769
2016 236.916 237.111 238.132 239.261 240.229 241.018 240.628 240.849 241.428 241.729 241.353 241.432 238.778 241.237
2017 242.839 243.603 243.801 244.524 244.733 244.955 244.786 245.519 246.819 246.663 246.669 246.524 244.076 246.163
2018 247.867 248.991 249.554 250.546 251.588 251.989 252.006 252.146 250.089

## 5 Ways Inflation Impacts Investments

Inflation has an indirect, but important impact on your investments. These five ways inflation impacts investment returns gives you the why and the how. Take this information with you when talking with a financial advisor about your retirement account, especially if you're living on a fixed income.

### Increase in the Cost of Goods and Services

Why It's a Problem: Inflation causes the prevailing price for most goods and services to rise. As a result, you need more money to buy affected items now than you did in the past. In short, the \$100 you investment today in your retirement, might only buy \$50 worth of goods in the future because of inflation. Your investments suffer because money is worth less and you need more of it just to keep up with increasing prices.

How to Fight Back: Offsetting rising future costs due to inflation depends on your ability to plan and budget. Inflation rates vary from month to month depending on the country's economic circumstances. If you plan to live on a fixed income in your retirement, budget for your necessities, leaving financial wiggle room for increases in their cost. For detailed information, pay attention to the Consumer Price Index, which can help you anticipate your cost-of-living expenses.

Why it Hurts Investments: The true impact of inflation on the value of money from your perspective as a consumer is your reduced purchasing power. You have less ability to buy goods and services. Investments suffer too because inflation reduces rate at which they grow. If your portfolio doesn't earn enough interest to keep up with the rate of inflation, the purchasing power of your investments diminishes instead of grows.

Basically, you receive a negative return for the money you put in and not a positive one. Fixed-income investments are particularly vulnerable to this phenomenon because the interest rates associated with them don't usually fluctuate over their life. They're stuck at a predetermined growth percentage until maturity, meaning the inflation rate could potentially eclipse that figure producing a negative return.

How to Anticipate Losses: Calculate the real interest rate on your investments instead of only paying attention to its nominal or stated interest rate. To get the real interest rate, subtract the prevailing rate of inflation from the nominal rate. For example, let's assume the nominal rate on an investment is 3 percent, and the inflation rate is 2 percent. The real interest rate on that investment is 1 percent. This figure means the investment has a positive growth rate.

Prior to World War 2 the purchasing power of the Dollar went both ways. As the economy boomed and credit flowed easily the value of the currency fell, then when recessions hit the value of the currency rose sharply.

On August 15, 1971 President Nixon closed the gold window, which decoupled the U.S. Dollar from the value of gold.

Since then, rising prices & year over year positive rates of inflation have been a persistant aspect of monetary policy.

### Bond Value Falls as Inflation Rises

Why Value Matters: The value of the principal of fixed-income investments and securities like bonds drops in periods of high inflation. The money you spend to buy a savings bond today could be worth significantly less in the future. For example, if you buy a 10-year U.S. Treasury bond for \$100, and the annual rate of inflation is 4 percent, the value of your principal investment (\$100) reduces by \$40 to \$60 over the bond's 10-year term. Because the value of your initial investment diminishes, the total value of your return on that investment also falls.

Look Into Protected Securities: Inflation is a fact of life for every economy. While you can't stop inflation from occurring, you can protect your fixed-income investments from damage. Buying floating-rate notes or inflation-linked bonds can help insulate your retirement fund from inflation's negative effects.

Floating-rate notes give coupons that increase or decrease in value under certain inflation rates. These notes also reset their interest rates at key points to account for economic changes. Inflation-linked bonds issued by the federal government, called Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities in the United States, tie directly to changes in inflation. The principal and interest on these securities adjust to accommodate variances in inflation in line with the Consumer Price Index.

### Prices Drop for Fixed Income Securities

Why Interest Increases with Inflation: As inflation increases, interest rates also rise because of actions taken by the Federal Reserve to curb rising inflation or due to market expectations that conditions could get worse. With rising interest rates, you'll also see a decrease in the price of fixed-income investments, including bonds. Falling prices for these securities can lead to smaller total returns on investment for them.

How to Diversify Your Portfolio: A retirement portfolio that has only fixed-income investments is at the mercy of annual inflation rates. You don't want to have a down economy eating away at your retirement savings just when you're about to stop working. Contact a financial advisor to discuss strategies to diversify your portfolio to include a variety of investment vehicles that can help your nest egg whether tough economic times.

### Stock Values Can Fluctuate with Inflation

Why Corporations are People: Part of your diversified investment portfolio will likely include common stocks from publicly traded corporations. These larger companies can control their prices during inflation to combat its negative impact on their revenue, though they're not completely immune. Corporations, like people, usually have cash on-hand to make immediate purchases. The more cash corporations have, the greater impact they feel from inflation because of its penchant for diminishing the value of money.

How to Watch Stock Value: Over the long-term, stocks are a solid option to grow your retirement fund and help insulate it from inflation. In the short-term, however, stock values can experience significant volatility during periods of suddenly high or low inflation. This shakeup in the market leads to investor uncertainty about business revenue forecasts, which causes corresponding short-term stock values to sag. In contrast, the value of commodity investments -- precious metals, food, energy, etc. -- tend to increase during higher inflation conditions.

Losses occur in investment even in the safest circumstances. While you can never predict the future with absolute certainty, you can take the necessary steps now to shield as much of your investment money as possible from inflation's negative effects. Taking proactive steps now might just be the difference between an adequate retirement fund and a threadbare portfolio.

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