Inflation in History

Historical Events

  • 1776-12-31 Rhode Island establishes wage & price controls to curb inflation: Limit is 70 cents a day for carpenters, 42 cents for tailors
  • 1919-07-01 US 1st class postage drops from 3 cents to 2 cents
  • 1932-07-06 1st class postage back up to 3 cents from 2 cents

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1943-04-08 U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, in an attempt to check inflation, freezes wages and prices, prohibits workers from changing jobs unless the war effort would be aided thereby, and bars rate increases to common carriers and public utilities.

32nd US President Franklin D. Roosevelt
32nd US President
Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • 1953-07-25 NYC transit fare rises from 10 cents to 15 cents, 1st use of subway tokens
  • 1958-08-01 US 1st class postage up to 4 cents (had been 3 cents for 26 years)
  • 1963-01-07 1st class postage raised from 4 cents to 5 cents
  • 1966-07-05 NYC transit fare rises from 15 cents to 20 cents
  • 1968-01-07 1st class US postage raised from 5 cents to 6 cents
  • 1970-01-04 NYC transit fare rises from 20 cents to 30 cents, new larger tokens used
  • 1971-05-16 US 1st class postage now costs 8 cents (was 6 cents)
  • 1972-01-05 NYC transit fare rises from 30 cents to 35 cents
  • 1973-03-16 OPEC discusses raising prices to offset decline of U.S. dollar value
  • 1974-03-02 1st class postage raised to 10 cents from 8 cents
  • 1975-09-01 NYC transit fare rises from 35 cents to 50 cents
  • 1975-12-11 US 1st class postage rises from 10 cents to 13 cents
  • 1978-05-29 US 1st class postage rises to 15 cents (13 cents for 3 years)
  • 1978-10-23 CBS raises LP prices to $8.98
  • 1980-06-28 NYC transit fare rises from 50 cents to 60 cents
  • 1981-03-22 US 1st class postage raised to 18 cents from 15 cents
  • 1981-07-03 NYC transit fare rises from 60 cents to 75 cents, new brass Y-cut-out token
  • 1981-11-01 1st Class US Mail raised from 18 cents to 20 cents
  • 1984-01-01 NYC transit fare rises from 75 cents to 90 cents
  • 1985-02-17 1st class postage rises from 20 cents to 22 cents
  • 1986-01-01 NYC transit fare rises from 90 cents to $1.00
  • 1989-01-01 NYC transit fare rises from $1.00 to $1.15
  • 1989-04-28 Argentina, hit by rocketing inflation, runs out of money
  • 1989-12-21 New Zealand is the first country to set a formal inflation target (0-2%) for how much prices should rise each year. Similar targets are subsequently adopted by most developed countries.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1990-09-21 Reports that US refinery problems will lead to a loss in capacity and aggressive remarks by Saddam Hussein send crude prices to new highs

Iraqi President Saddam Hussein
Iraqi President
Saddam Hussein
  • 1991-02-02 US postage is raised from 25 cents to 29 cents
  • 1992-01-01 NYC transit fare increases from $1.15 to $1.25
  • 1994-05-20 Sony Theaters & Cineplex (NYC) hike movie ticket prices to $8.00
  • 1994-06-27 NY Daily News increases prices to 50 cents
  • 1998-01-01 Russia begins to circulate new rubles to stem inflation and promote confidence.
  • 2013-01-22 The Bank of Japan doubles its inflation target to 2% and announces open-ended asset purchases for 2014 in the hope of ending deflation
  • 2015-05-19 UK inflation is recorded as a negative for the first time since 1960