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United States Inflation Rate (CPI) Statistics – 1948 to April 2024

Current US inflation rate, including breakdowns for food, energy, services, and shelter inflation — updated monthly.

Quick Summary of the latest Inflation Rate statistics

  1. The current inflation rate in the US is 3.3%, down slightly compared to 3.4% for the previous month.
  2. The current CPI rate of 3.3% for May 2024 is a decrease from the year before, when inflation sat at 4% in May 2023.(1)
  3. Gas prices are down 3.6% for the 12-months ending May 2024. (4)
  4. The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased by 0% in May 2024 after seasonal adjustment.(1)
  5. The CPI’s all time high inflation rate was 23.7% in 1920.(1)
  6. The CPI’s all time low inflation rate was -15.8% in 1921.(1)
  7. The Core inflation rate dropped to 3.4% in May 2024 from 3.6% in Apr.(1)

The release date for the next inflation report is scheduled for Jul. 11, 2024, at 8:30 A.M.

Consumer Price Index (CPI) breakdown

Food inflation

  1. The current Food inflation rate dropped to 2.1% in May 2024 from 2.2% in Apr.(1)

Energy inflation

  1. The current Energy inflation rate is 3.7%.(1)

Services inflation

  1. The current services inflation rate is 5.3%, a decrease from last month’s services inflation rate of 5.3%. (1)

Shelter inflation

  1. The current Shelter inflation rate is 5.4% an decrease from last month’s Services inflation rate of 5.5%. (1)

US Historical Inflation Rate

Significant world events that influence supply and demand have effects on inflation.

  1. Inflation rose post World War 2, and changes would impact macroeconomic events such as The Great Inflation, which lasted from 1965 until 1982. (5)
  2. We’re seeing similar effects due to the Ukraine war and the COVID-19 pandemic, with inflation the highest it’s been in 40 years. (5)

US monthly inflation rate: 2012 – 2023

  1. The average inflation rate for the past 10 years is 2.65%.(6)
  2. The Federal Reserve sets target inflation at 2% for medium term economic stability. (8)

Year on Year Comparison of US Inflation Since 2020

  1. In 2020, lockdowns and the COVID-19 pandemic stunted inflation with the average inflation for 2020 being 1.23% a 33% decline from 2019 1.8% inflation. (7)
  2. The average inflation rate for 2021 was 4.70%, a 292% increase from 2020. (7)
  3. The year on year increase from 2020 to 2021 is due to supply and demand factors like changes in spending habits, supply chain disruptions, and pandemic mitigation policies such as stimulus packages. (9)
  4. 29% of households spent their stimulus packages by June 2020, with 36% putting remaining funds towards savings and 35% towards paying off debt. (10)
  5. Economists point to the increase in disposable income and reduced spending as a result of the stimulus packaage have contributed to increases in US inflation for 2021 and 2022. (11)

Month on Month Comparison of US Inflation Since 2020

US Historical Inflation: 1948 – Now

The average US inflation rate compares yearly average inflation rates since 1948.

  1. 1921 saw the lowest recorded average of -10.9% (1)
  2. 1917 recorded the highest at 17.8%. (1)

CPI release dates for 2024

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) releases the previous months’ CPI figures in the first half of the following month. For example the first release for 2023 will be the figures for December 2022 and so on.

Calculating inflation rate

Inflation rates affect purchasing power or the value of a dollar over time. The same amount of currency may be worth less and be able to purchase fewer items compared to years before. The below formula can be used to calculate the percentage difference in inflation to measure the dollar’s buying power over time, which helps anticipate changes in the cost of living.

To calculate the inflation, get the CPI rate for the year you want to compare from the Consumer Price Index as your starting point and the CPI for the current or chosen year as your endpoint.

Subtract the starting CPI from the end CPI. Then divide by the starting CPI and multiply it by 100 to get the inflation percentage.

The formula is: (starting CPI-end CPI/starting CPI)X100

For example:

CPI for June 2010: 217.965

CPI for June 2022: 296.28

Formula: (217.965 – 296.28/217.965) x 100

Inflation = 82.034%

To calculate the effect of inflation in dollar value, you can divide the inflation rate by 100, multiply it by 1, and multiply it by $1

(82.034/100×1)+$1 = $1.82

This shows that something that cost $1 in June of 2010 now costs $1.82 in June 2022.

How the US inflation rate compares to other countries

  1. Russia has the highest inflation rate at 7.8% (2)
  2. China has the lowest inflation rate at 0.3% (2)
  3. The US ranks number 4 for inflation when compared to these select countries, with current inflation sitting at 3.2% (2)

Inflation concerns impacting how Americans are spending and saving

Inflation is a top concern for Americans with 61.8% saying it has impacted their spending habits, according to Finder’s Consumer Confidence Index. This is by far the most common reason given as to why people are changing their spending and saving habits, followed by pandemic (31.2%) and politics (22%).


Written by

Richard Laycock

Richard Laycock is Finder’s NYC-based senior content marketing manager & insights editor, spending the last decade data diving, writing and editing articles about all things personal finance. His musings can be found across the web including on NASDAQ, MoneyMag, Yahoo Finance and Travel Weekly. Richard studied Media at Macquarie University, including a semester abroad at The Missouri School of Journalism (MIZZOU). See full profile

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