This news release describes the results of the Bank of England’s latest quarterly survey of public attitudes to inflation, undertaken between 3 and 7 May 2019.
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 February.
Question 2a: Median expectations of the rate of inflation over the coming year were 3.1%, down from 3.2% in February.
Question 2b: Asked about expected inflation in the twelve months after that, respondents gave a median answer of 3.0%, up from 2.9% in February.
Question 2c: Asked about expectations of inflation in the longer term, say in five years’ time, respondents gave a median answer of 3.8%, up from 3.4% in February.
Question 3: By a margin of 55% to 7%, survey respondents believed that the economy would end up weaker rather than stronger if prices started to rise faster, compared with 56% to 6% in February.
Question 4: 52% of respondents thought the inflation target was ‘about right’, up from 49% 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, the same as in February, while 38% of respondents said that interest rates had risen over the past 12 months, up from 34% 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, the same as in February. 49% of respondents expected rates to rise over the next 12 months, up from 47% in February.
Question 7: Asked what would be ‘best for the economy’ – higher interest rates, lower rates or no change – 18% thought rates should ‘go up’, up from 17% in February. 19% of respondents thought that interest rates should ‘go down’, up from 17% in February. 35% thought interest rates should ‘stay where they are’, down from 37% in February.
Question 8: When asked what would be ‘best for you personally’, 18% of respondents said interest rates should ‘go up’, down from 22% in February. 31% of respondents said it would be better for them if interest rates were to ‘go down’, up from 28% 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 +29%, up from +26% in February.