What Is Purchasing Power Parity, Calculation, Formula & Exchange Rate 2024

Have you ever wondered why a burger might cost $5 in New York but only the equivalent of $2 in Delhi? Or why do some things seem absurdly cheap compared to back home when travelling abroad, while others are expensive? This is where the concept of What is Purchasing Power Parity Theory is used.

PPP is a basic economics concept that helps us understand how currencies are valued based on what they can buy. Instead of only considering exchange rates, it’s about comparing what your money can purchase in various countries.

What Is Purchasing Power Parity

Using a purchasing power parity calculator makes understanding the costs of living in different nations easy. This tool provides insights and data about the actual amount you require to live the same lifestyle in the desired country.

Remember: It’s not just about exchange rates; it’s about Your purchasing power.

How To Calculate Purchasing Power Parity – PPP 2024

PPP compares the purchasing power of different countries by examining how much a standard basket of goods costs across them. To calculate PPP, follow these easy steps:

  • Choose a specific product or basket of goods. Common choices include everyday items like bread, milk, or even a Big Mac.
  • Find out the price of this item in your country in your currency.
  • Check the price of the same item in another country but in their currency.
  • Divide the price in your country by the price in the foreign country.
  • The result gives you the PPP exchange rate.

If this PPP rate matches the actual exchange rate, then the currencies are at par in terms of purchasing power. If not, one currency might be undervalued or overvalued.

What Is Purchasing Power Parity And Its Calculation – Brief Video

What Is Purchasing Power Parity Formula

When we talk about the effect of inflation on purchasing power, the formula is:

Purchasing Power= Initial Amount/(1+Inflation Rate)n

  • Initial amount is the amount of money you have at the beginning.
  • The inflation rate is the rate of inflation per year (expressed as a decimal, so 5% would be 0.05).
  • n is the number of years.

With this formula, you can see how inflation erodes money’s purchasing power. A higher inflation rate or a longer time frame (higher n) will decrease purchasing power.

For example, if you had $1000, and the inflation rate was 3% a year, after one year, the purchasing power of your $1000 would be:

Purchasing Power= 1000/(1+0.03)1 =$970.87

So, after one year, with a 3% inflation rate, your $1000 would only have the purchasing power of $970.87 in today’s terms.

purchasing power formula

How To Calculate Purchasing Power Parity PPP

Take the example of comparing burger prices between two countries. It costs $5 in the U.S., but $3 in another country. The Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) exchange rate is used to account for this price difference.

Divide the price of a burger in one country by the price in the other country to calculate the PPP rate. Using this example:

PPP Exchange Rate= Price in the U.S/Price in the other country

According to the burger prices, 1 dollar should be equivalent to 1.67 of the other country’s currency for both burgers to have the same value. That’s the magic of the PPP exchange rate, it shows the exchange rate if items cost the same everywhere!

GDP by PPP Vs Nominal GDP

Comparing the money a country makes using the regular method can be wrong because they might change their value. Comparing countries based on how much money can buy is a better way to measure their performance. So check out the GDP by PPP comparison with Nominal GDP sourced by Investopedia.

gdp ppp calculation


  • Both Purchasing Power Parity and CPI (Consumer Price Index) are important, but they are used for different purposes:
  • The purchasing power parity (PPP) compares the purchasing power of different currencies. It looks at how much a specific amount can buy in other countries.
  • CPI measures the average change over time in the prices consumers pay for a basket of goods and services. If the CPI rises, it usually means the cost of living increases.


In this world, understanding concepts like Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) is very important. The tools, such as PPP Calculator, provide comparisons between countries, adjusting for factors like cost of living. Whether you’re a traveler or an economist, these concepts provide more understanding of values.

Frequently Asked Questions

It’s an economic theory that compares the purchasing power of different currencies based on what they can buy in their home countries.

The formula of PPP is dividing the price of an item in one country by its price in another country to determine the exchange rate based on purchasing power.

GDP measures the total value of goods and services produced by a country. At the same time, PPP adjusts GDP for cost of living and inflation, comparing economic sizes as if prices were the same across countries.

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