Inflation Charts & Data


  1. Inflation rate / Annual change in Dollar Quantity
  2. Quantity of Federal Reserve Dollars and History
  3. Composition of current dollar quantity
  4. Data

Inflation rate / Annual change in Dollar Quantity

The annual U.S. dollar inflation rate is 7.3 percent, as of August 2017.

Note: Inflation is an increase in the quantity of money, not an increase in prices. Prices may increase because of inflation, because the money is worth less, but a price increase is not ‘inflation.”

Annual changes in Fed Reserve dollar quantity - through 2017 August


Quantity of Federal Reserve “Dollars”

Line chart of Fed Reserve Dollar Quantity from 1959 to 2017, with callouts showing when total dollar quantity doubled. Current total is 12.7 Trillion

One of the most important financial elements is the number of Federal Reserve “dollars” in circulation and whether the quantity is rising or falling. Issuing new “dollars” lowers the value of existing dollars. Destroying “dollars” will increase the value of all other dollars.


Composition of Dollar Quantity

People use different ways to calculate the quantity of Federal Reserve U.S. dollars. At Monetary Choice, the inputs are:

Currency in Circulation + Checking Deposits + Savings Deposits + U.S. Government Demand Deposits and Note Balances + Demand Deposits Due to Foreign Commercial Banks + Demand Deposits Due to Foreign Official Institutions.

The first three comprise 99 percent of the dollars:

Pie chart showing components of Federal Reserve Dollars - 2017 August

We include savings deposits because the money can be easily moved into a checking deposits from which it could be spent.

Data for the Charts

As noted above, usually Federal Reserve reduces the inflation rate after a series of high increases, but since 2014, the rate has remained level at about seven percent. Look for prices to continue to rise as the value of the Fed dollar falls.

Table - Raw data showing composition of Fed Reserve Dollar total, from 1995 to 2017 (August)

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