Bank of England/TNS Inflation Attitudes Survey - February 2017

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 10 March 2017

TNS interviewed a quota sample of people aged 16 and over in 368 randomly selected output areas or group of output areas (sample points) throughout the United Kingdom; 4243 people between 10 and 19 February 2017. 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 2.7%, compared to 2.3% in November.
  • Question 2a: Median expectations of the rate of inflation over the coming year were 2.9%, compared with 2.8% in November.
  • Question 2b: Asked about expected inflation in the twelve months after that, respondents gave a median answer of 2.7%, compared with 2.5% in November.
  • Question 2c: Asked about expectations of inflation in the longer term, say in five years’ time, respondents gave a median answer of 3.2%, compared to 3.1% in November.
  • Question 3: By a margin of 46% to 9%, survey respondents believed that the economy would end up weaker rather than stronger if prices started to rise faster, compared with 50% to 10% in November.
  • Question 4: 55% of respondents thought the inflation target was ‘about right’, up from 53% in November, while the proportions saying the target was ‘too high’ or ‘too low’ were 18% and 11% respectively.
  • Question 5: 22% of respondents thought that interest rates had fallen over the past 12 months, compared with 29% in November, while 21% of respondents said that interest rates had risen over the past 12 months, compared with 20% in November.
  • Question 6: When asked about the future path of interest rates, 28% said rates might stay about the same over the next twelve months, unchanged since November. 42% of respondents expected rates to rise over the next 12 months, up from 41% 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’, unchanged since November. 12% of respondents thought that interest rates should ‘go down’, compared to 16% in November. 37% thought interest rates should ‘stay where they are’, up from 36% in November.
  • Question 8: When asked what would be ‘best for you personally’, 23% of respondents said interest rates should ‘go up’, compared with 24% in November. 23% of respondents said it would be better for them if interest rates were to ‘go down’, down from 25% 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 +30%, down from +31% in November.

ExcelSummary results

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