Inflation is the “overall general upward price movement of goods and services in an economy,” according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Among other measurements of the economy, the BLS reports the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures inflation as experienced by consumers in their day-to-day living expenses.

If you are interested in how inflation affects your earnings, the Bureau has an online inflation calculator that uses the average CPI for a given year. You can put in a dollar amount and click to see how much a dollar is worth over a range of years.