See how the purchasing power of money has changed over time in the United States.
This Inflation Calculator offers very targeted results as it shows cumulative inflation between months of years rather than calculating total inflation between calendar years (or to the latest month for 2023) like the more popular calculator on this site’s home page.
It uses Consumer Price Index (CPI) data from 1913 through February 2023 published March 14 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). As a part of the process in producing the CPI — specifically the CPI-U (CPI for All Urban Consumers), the BLS tracks how average prices have changed for about 80,000 goods and services purchased for consumption in U.S. cities. The BLS will release inflation data through March on April 12, 2023.
Example on Calculating Inflation in the United States
As an example, on how this Inflation Calculator works, let’s say you wanted to find cumulative inflation and how the purchasing power of $100 has changed between April 2000 and May 2022.
When you pick the starting month and year and ending month and year, enter $100 for the amount, and select ‘Calculate’, the Inflation Calculator retrieves the CPI data for the pair of dates, which is:
- CPI for April 2000 = 171.300, and
- CPI for May 2022 = 292.296
It then performs the following inflation calculations using the data:
Change in Purchasing Power
April 2000 Price x (2022 CPI / 2000 CPI) = May 2022 Price
[(CPI for May 2022 – CPI for April 2000) / 2000 CPI] x 100 = Inflation
Using the actual numbers, the results are:
Change in Purchasing Power: $100.00 x (292.296 / 258.115) = $170.63
Cumulative Inflation: [(292.296-171.200) / 171.200] x 100= 70.63%