This news release describes the results of the Bank of England’s latest quarterly survey of public attitudes to inflation, undertaken between 8 and 9 February 2019.
Highlights from the survey
Question 1: Asked to give the current rate of inflation, respondents gave a median answer of 2.9%, compared to 3.1% in November.
Question 2a: Median expectations of the rate of inflation over the coming year were 3.2%, 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%, up from 2.8% 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 56% to 6%, survey respondents believed that the economy would end up weaker rather than stronger if prices started to rise faster, compared with 53% to 9% in November.
Question 4: 49% of respondents thought the inflation target was ‘about right’, remaining the same as in November, while the proportions saying the target was ‘too high’ or ‘too low’ were 22% and 13% respectively.
Question 5: 7% of respondents thought that interest rates had fallen over the past 12 months, compared with 6% in November, while 34% of respondents said that interest rates had risen over the past 12 months, down from 44% in November.
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 19% in November. 47% of respondents expected rates to rise over the next 12 months, down from 53% in November.
Question 7: Asked what would be ‘best for the economy’ – higher interest rates, lower rates or no change – 17% thought rates should ‘go up’, down from 19% in November. 17% of respondents thought that interest rates should ‘go down’, down from 19% in November. 37% thought interest rates should ‘stay where they are’, up from 34% in November.
Question 8: When asked what would be ‘best for you personally’, 22% of respondents said interest rates should ‘go up’, up from 21% in November. 28% of respondents said it would be better for them if interest rates were to ‘go down’, down from 31% 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 +26%, down from +30% in November.