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; 4254 people between 7 and 18 February 2018. 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 3.1%, compared to 2.9% in November.
Question 2a: Median expectations of the rate of inflation over the coming year were 2.9%, remaining the same as in November.
Question 2b: Asked about expected inflation in the twelve months after that, respondents gave a median answer of 2.9%, remaining the same as in November.
Question 2c: Asked about expectations of inflation in the longer term, say in five years’ time, respondents gave a median answer of 3.4%, down from 3.5% in November.
Question 3: By a margin of 52% to 8%, survey respondents believed that the economy would end up weaker rather than stronger if prices started to rise faster, compared with 52% to 9% in November.
Question 4: 51% of respondents thought the inflation target was ‘about right’, down from 52% in November, while the proportions saying the target was ‘too high’ or ‘too low’ were 21% and 13% respectively.
Question 5: 8% of respondents thought that interest rates had fallen over the past 12 months, compared with 5% in November, while 40% of respondents said that interest rates had risen over the past 12 months, down from 46% in November.
Question 6: When asked about the future path of interest rates, 18% said rates might stay about the same over the next twelve months, compared with 17% in November. 58% of respondents expected rates to rise over the next 12 months, down from 63% in November.
Question 7: Asked what would be ‘best for the economy’ – higher interest rates, lower rates or no change – 23% thought rates should ‘go up’, compared with 25% in November. 15% of respondents thought that interest rates should ‘go down’, compared to 14% in November. 34% thought interest rates should ‘stay where they are’, down from 35% in November.
Question 8: When asked what would be ‘best for you personally’, 23% of respondents said interest rates should ‘go up’, down from 25% in November. 27% of respondents said it would be better for them if interest rates were to ‘go down’, up 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.