US inflation increased by the fastest one-month pace since July 2008, rising 0.2 percent in February from a year ago, the Labor Department reported Wednesday.
Consumer prices rose 0.4 percent last month as energy prices pushed the cost of living higher for the second straight month. A surge in gasoline prices at the pump accounted for about two-thirds of the increase in all item prices.
Rising inflation is generally good news for precious metals. However, gold’s spot price is down substantially to below $900 an ounce as investors so far today have looked more favorably toward other markets.
The CoinNews Inflation Calculator and rate charts with their updated figures show inflation’s increase 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, rates and price figures in February…
The core Consumer Price Index, which excludes volatile food and energy costs, increased by 0.2 percent in Feb., and is up 1.8% from Feb. of 2008.
Other interesting prices:
- Gasoline prices surged 8.3 after a 6.0 percent increase in January
- Clothing prices were up 1.3 percent, the biggest increase in nearly 20 years
- New vehicle prices increased 0.8 percent while used car and truck prices declined 1.7 percent
- Airfares declined 2.6 percent
- Housing prices remained unchanged for the third consecutive month
What’s the real world meaning of some of these figures? The CoinNews Inflation Calculator can provide further historical insights.
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 $21.43 (up 20 cents from Jan. figures)
- An item purchased in 1950 for $10 would now cost $88.05 (up 44 cents from Jan. figures)
- An item purchased for $20 in 1985 would now cost $39.44 (up 19 cents from Jan. figures)
Mixed dates may also be used with the Inflation Calculator. As examples:
- An item purchased today for $500 would have cost $126.77 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