U.S. inflation rate in 1985: 3.56%

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Inflation since 1985 and its effect on dollar value

The consumer price index (CPI) in 1985 was 107.6. It was 103.9 in the previous year. This change in CPI is used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to calculate inflation.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, the dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 2.61% per year. Prices in 2018 are 133.8% higher than prices in 1985.

In other words, $100 in 1985 is equivalent in purchasing power to $233.82 in 2018, a difference of $133.82 over 33 years.

The current inflation rate is now 2.80%1. If this number holds, $100 today will be equivalent to $102.80 next year. The current inflation rate page gives more detail on the latest official inflation rates.

Inflation from 1985 to 2018
Cumulative price change 133.82%
Average inflation rate 2.61%
Converted amount ($100 base) $233.82
Price difference ($100 base) $133.82
CPI in 1985 107.6
CPI in 2018 251.59


U.S. inflation from 1913 to 2018


Inflation rates for specific categories

Food · Baby food · Gasoline (all types) · More

Inflation-adjusted measures

S&P 500 price · S&P 500 earnings · Shiller P/E

How to calculate the inflation rate for $100 since 1985

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2018 / CPI in 1985 * 1985 USD value = 2018 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 107.6 in the year 1985 and 251.59 in 2018:

251.59 / 107.6 * $100 = $233.82

$100 in 1985 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $233.82 in 2018.


Here are calculations of buying power over time for $100 in 1985 (price index tracking began in 1913). Each of these USD amounts below is equivalent in terms of what it could buy at the time:
Year USD Value Inflation Rate
1985 $100.00 3.56%
1986 $101.86 1.86%
1987 $105.58 3.65%
1988 $109.94 4.14%
1989 $115.24 4.82%
1990 $121.47 5.40%
1991 $126.58 4.21%
1992 $130.39 3.01%
1993 $134.29 2.99%
1994 $137.73 2.56%
1995 $141.64 2.83%
1996 $145.82 2.95%
1997 $149.16 2.29%
1998 $151.49 1.56%
1999 $154.83 2.21%
2000 $160.04 3.36%
2001 $164.59 2.85%
2002 $167.19 1.58%
2003 $171.00 2.28%
2004 $175.56 2.66%
2005 $181.51 3.39%
2006 $187.36 3.23%
2007 $192.70 2.85%
2008 $200.10 3.84%
2009 $199.38 -0.36%
2010 $202.65 1.64%
2011 $209.05 3.16%
2012 $213.38 2.07%
2013 $216.50 1.46%
2014 $220.01 1.62%
2015 $220.28 0.12%
2016 $223.05 1.26%
2017 $227.50 1.99%
2018 $233.82 2.78%*
* Not final. See inflation summary for latest details.

News headlines from 1985

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

  • Mikhail Gorbachev replaces Konstantin Chernenko as leader of the Soviet Union.
  • Earthquake with a magnitude of 8.1 rocks Mexico City and kills 10,000 people, leaving over 250,000 homeless.
  • Mikhail Gorbachev (leader of the Soviet Union) and Ronald Reagan (President of the United States) meet for the first time.
  • Ernie Wise makes the first mobile phone call in the UK.

Inflation Data Source

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: “Inflation Rate in 1985 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 14 Jun. 2018, https://www.officialdata.org/inflation-rate-in-1985.


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