Bank of England/TNS Inflation Attitudes Survey - May 2018

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 08 June 2018

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; 2159 people between 4 and 8 May 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%, remaining the same as in February.

Question 2a: Median expectations of the rate of inflation over the coming year were 2.9%, remaining the same as in February.

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 February.

Question 2c: Asked about expectations of inflation in the longer term, say in five years’ time, respondents gave a median answer of 3.6%, compared to 3.4% in February.

Question 3: By a margin of 51% 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 8% in February.

Question 4: 49% of respondents thought the inflation target was ‘about right’, down from 51% in February, while the proportions saying the target was ‘too high’ or ‘too low’ were 21% and 11% respectively.

Question 5: 7% of respondents thought that interest rates had fallen over the past 12 months, compared with 8% in February, while 38% of respondents said that interest rates had risen over the past 12 months, down from 40% in February.

Question 6: When asked about the future path of interest rates, 22% said rates might stay about the same over the next twelve months, compared with 18% in February. 51% of respondents expected rates to rise over the next 12 months, down from 58% in February.

Question 7: Asked what would be ‘best for the economy’ – higher interest rates, lower rates or no change – 22% thought rates should ‘go up’, compared with 23% in February. 16% of respondents thought that interest rates should ‘go down’, compared to 15% in February. 32% thought interest rates should ‘stay where they are’, down from 34% in February.

Question 8: When asked what would be ‘best for you personally’, 22% of respondents said interest rates should ‘go up’, down from 23% in February. 28% of respondents said it would be better for them if interest rates were to ‘go down’, up from 27% in February.

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 +25%, down from +30% in February.

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