U.S. inflation rate in 1989: 4.82%

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Inflation since 1989 and its effect on dollar value

The consumer price index (CPI) in 1989 was 124. It was 118.3 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 2.47% per year. Prices in 2018 are 102.9% higher than prices in 1989.

In other words, $100 in 1989 is equivalent in purchasing power to $202.90 in 2018, a difference of $102.90 over 29 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 1989 to 2018
Cumulative price change 102.90%
Average inflation rate 2.47%
Converted amount ($100 base) $202.90
Price difference ($100 base) $102.90
CPI in 1989 124
CPI in 2018 251.59


U.S. inflation from 1913 to 2018


Inflation rates for specific categories

Parking fees and tolls · Juices and nonalcoholic drinks · Public transportation · More

Inflation-adjusted measures

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

How to calculate the inflation rate for $100 since 1989

This inflation calculator uses the following inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2018 / CPI in 1989 * 1989 USD value = 2018 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values. The U.S. CPI was 124 in the year 1989 and 251.59 in 2018:

251.59 / 124 * $100 = $202.90

$100 in 1989 has the same "purchasing power" or "buying power" as $202.90 in 2018.


Here are calculations of buying power over time for $100 in 1989 (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
1989 $100.00 4.82%
1990 $105.40 5.40%
1991 $109.84 4.21%
1992 $113.15 3.01%
1993 $116.53 2.99%
1994 $119.52 2.56%
1995 $122.90 2.83%
1996 $126.53 2.95%
1997 $129.44 2.29%
1998 $131.45 1.56%
1999 $134.35 2.21%
2000 $138.87 3.36%
2001 $142.82 2.85%
2002 $145.08 1.58%
2003 $148.39 2.28%
2004 $152.34 2.66%
2005 $157.50 3.39%
2006 $162.58 3.23%
2007 $167.21 2.85%
2008 $173.63 3.84%
2009 $173.01 -0.36%
2010 $175.85 1.64%
2011 $181.40 3.16%
2012 $185.16 2.07%
2013 $187.87 1.46%
2014 $190.92 1.62%
2015 $191.14 0.12%
2016 $193.55 1.26%
2017 $197.41 1.99%
2018 $202.90 2.78%*
* Not final. See inflation summary for latest details.

News headlines from 1989

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

  • Chinese troops kill an estimated 1,000 students protesting at Tiananmen Square.
  • The first (partially) free elections take place in Poland, bringing democracy to Eastern Europe for the first time in 40 years. (Won by the Solidarity Party)
  • The demolition of the Berlin Wall begins.
  • Presidents George H. W. Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev, declare that the Cold War has ended.

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 1989 | Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 21 Jun. 2018, https://www.officialdata.org/inflation-rate-in-1989.


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