The Shrinking Value of the Dollar

The CPI inflation calculator uses the average Consumer Price Index for a given calendar year. This data represents changes in prices of all goods and services purchased for consumption by urban households. This index value has been calculated every year since 1913. For the current year, the latest monthly index value is used. In 2008, for example, it took $21.57 to buy what $1 bought in 1913. Note that in 1920, it cost $2.02, and declined in 1925 and through the 1930s, illustrating the effect of the Great Depression, when prices slumped. Prices did not pass $2 again until 1950.

Year Amount it took to
equal $1 in 1913
1913 $1.00
1920 2.02
1925 1.77
1930 1.69
1935 1.38
1940 1.41
1945 $1.82
1950 2.43
1955 2.71
1960 2.99
1965 3.18
1970 3.92
1975 $5.43
1980 8.32
1985 10.87
1990 13.20
1995 15.39
2000 17.39
2001 $17.89
2002 18.17
2003 18.59
2004 19.08
2005 19.73
2006 20.18
2007 20.94
2008 21.57
2012 23.27
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics. Web: http://stats.bls.gov/ .

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U.S. Economy and the Federal Budget

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