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Inflation in the United States, Percent Change

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Both high inflation and deflation (negative inflation) are indicators of an unsound economy. Low inflation (an annual rate of approximately 1-to-3 percent) generally is considered to be the target. Over the last two decades, the inflation rate in most years has been between 2 and 3 percent. The rate typically peaks at the end of an economic expansion and hits its low point at the end of a recession.

Based on both the consumer price index and the gross domestic product implicit price deflator, inflation was at a cyclical low in 2009. Inflation climbed through 2011, but has since dropped back. In 2014, it was 1.4 percent based on the GDP deflator and 1.6 percent based on the CPI.