Bank of England/TNS Inflation Attitudes Survey - August 2016

This quarterly survey, conducted by TNS on our behalf, assesses public attitudes to inflation, opinions about the Bank and awareness of our work.
Published on 09 September 2016

TNS interviewed a 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; 2117 people between 5 and 9 August 2016. The raw data were weighted to match the demographic profile of the UK as a whole.

Highlights from the survey

  • Question 1: Asked to give the current rate of inflation, respondents gave a median answer of 1.8%, compared to 2.2% in May.
  • Question 2a: Median expectations of the rate of inflation over the coming year were 2.2%, compared with 2.0% in May.
  • Question 2b: Asked about expected inflation in the twelve months after that, respondents gave a median answer of 2.2%, unchanged since May.
  • Question 2c: Asked about expectations of inflation in the longer term, say in five years’ time, respondents gave a median answer of 3.0%, compared to 3.4% in May.
  • Question 3: By a margin of 44% to 10%, 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 May.
  • Question 4: 55% of respondents thought the inflation target was ‘about right’, up from 54% in May, while the proportions saying the target was ‘too high’ or ‘too low’ were 18% and 7% respectively.
  • Question 5: 36% of respondents thought that interest rates had fallen over the past 12 months, compared with 13% in May, while 14% of respondents said that interest rates had risen over the past 12 months, compared with 21% in May.
  • Question 6: When asked about the future path of interest rates, 36% said rates might stay about the same over the next twelve months, up from 32% in May. 21% of respondents expected rates to rise over the next 12 months, down from 41% in May.
  • Question 7: Asked what would be ‘best for the economy’ – higher interest rates, lower rates or no change – 20% thought rates should ‘go up’, down from 21% in May. 15% of respondents thought that interest rates should ‘go down’, compared to 16% in May. 36% thought interest rates should ‘stay where they are’, compared to 37% in May.
  • Question 8: When asked what would be ‘best for you personally’, 23% of respondents said interest rates should ‘go up’, compared with 22% in May. 22% of respondents said it would be better for them if interest rates were to ‘go down’, down from 26% in May.
  • 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 +34%, up from +32% in May.

ExcelSummary results

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