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This news release describes the results of the Bank of England’s latest quarterly survey of public attitudes to inflation, undertaken between 12 and 16 February 2016 and 17 and 21 February 2016.
From February 2016 the survey has been conducted on the Bank of England's behalf by TNS, previous to that it was conducted by GfK
Highlights from the survey
Question 1: Asked to give the current rate of inflation, respondents gave a median answer of 2.0%, unchanged since November.
Question 2a: Median expectations of the rate of inflation over the coming year were 1.8%, compared with 2.0% in November.
Question 2b: Asked about expected inflation in the twelve months after that, respondents gave a median answer of 2.1%, compared with 2.3% in November.
Question 2c: Asked about expectations of inflation in the longer term, say in five years’ time, respondents gave a median answer of 2.9%, unchanged since November.
Question 3: By a margin of 46% to 12%, survey respondents believed that the economy would end up weaker rather than stronger if prices started to rise faster, compared with 47% to 10% in November.
Question 4: 52% of respondents thought the inflation target was ‘about right’, up from 51% in November, while the proportions saying the target was ‘too high’ or ‘too low’ were 25% and 7% respectively.
Question 5: 13% of respondents thought that interest rates had fallen over the past 12 months, compared with 9% in November, while 20% of respondents said that interest rates had risen over the past 12 months, unchanged since November.
Question 6: When asked about the future path of interest rates, 36% said rates might stay about the same over the next twelve months, down from 38% in November. 38% of respondents expected rates to rise over the next 12 months, up from 35% in November.
Question 7: Asked what would be ‘best for the economy’ – higher interest rates, lower rates or no change – 21% thought rates should ‘go up’, up from 16% in November. 14% of respondents thought that interest rates should ‘go down’, unchanged since November. 38% thought interest rates should ‘stay where they are’, compared to 36% in November.
Question 8: When asked what would be ‘best for you personally’, 24% of respondents said interest rates should ‘go up’, compared with 18% in November. 23% of respondents said it would be better for them if interest rates were to ‘go down’, up from 21% in November.
Question 14: Respondents were asked to assess the way the Bank of England is ‘doing its job to set interest rates to control inflation’. The net satisfaction balance – the proportion satisfied minus the proportion dissatisfied – was +29%, down from +30% in November.
Note to Editors
TNS interviewed two quota samples of people aged 16 and over in 368 randomly selected output areas or group of output areas (sample points) throughout the United Kingdom; 2071 people between 12 and 16 February 2016 and 2095 people between 17 and 21 February 2016. The raw data were weighted to match the demographic profile of the UK as a whole.