It was the third consecutive monthly decline for the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures inflation at the consumer level.
The government’s report shows reduced energy prices were again the biggest driving factor in lowering the cost of living for Americans. The energy index fell 8.3 percent, with gasoline prices tumbling 17.2 percent.
The core CPI, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, was mostly unchanged in December and stands at 1.8 percent in 2008.
The CoinNews Inflation Calculator and rate charts with their updated figures show inflation’s drop using the government’s latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) data. By entering any two dates from 1913-2008 and then a dollar amount, the calculator measures the change in the buying power of the dollar over time.
Inflation Calculator examples
Using the calculator, anyone can determine the purchasing power of the dollar over time. A few examples after adjusting for inflation:
- An item purchased in 1913 for $1 would now cost $21.44 (down 2 cents from November figures)
- An item purchased in 1950 for $10 would now cost $87.23 (down 91 cents from November figures)
- An item purchased for $20 in 1985 would now cost $39.08 (down 40 cents from November figures)
Mixed dates may also be used with the Inflation Calculator. As examples:
- An item purchased today for $500 would have cost $127.96 in 1975
- An item purchased for $1000 in 1980 would have cost $1,586.17 in 1990
Of course, not all "goods and services" rise or fall in tandem with inflation rates. For example, many computers when adjusted for inflation are actually less expensive today (and do more) compared to years ago.
Latest Charts on Inflation Rates
The CoinNews inflation page also includes two updated charts indicating the:
- Annual Averages for Rate of Inflation
- Annual Percent Changes for Rate of Inflation or Inflation Rates